The Lord of the Flies, a classic novel about British boys being stranded on an island whilst making a horrendous attempt at governing themselves, is revealed to be getting a remake from its 1963 and 1990 movie adaptations. The only difference? They’re making the film have an all-female cast. Yes, one of the novel’s major plot details is getting completely juxtaposed. While it may seem like an interesting concept at first, the concept has some major flaws that the general public is upset about.
Initially, people were quick to point out that the female-based movie is being written and directed by two men: Scott McGehee and David Siegel. Because the gender-swapped concept relies heavily on an accurate and insightful twist that may arise from gender differences, men writing the movie completely undermines any chance for that execution. Women would undoubtedly create a stronger depiction of this idea because it is in fact about young women. Men making assertions about female behavior is off-putting to many, so the film already seems to be heading down the wrong path. In an interview with Deadline, Siegel explained, “We want to do a very faithful but contemporized adaptation of the book, but our idea was to do it with all girls rather than boys. It is a timeless story that is especially relevant today, with the interpersonal conflicts and bullying, and the idea of children forming a society and replicating the behavior they saw in grownups before they were marooned.” While it is hard to decipher exactly what differences will be implemented with the gender swap, it is unlikely that this film will be worthwhile to watch without having a major female contributor involved.
Additionally, the general public has been unwelcoming of this concept due to the book revolving around the tendencies of male behavior. The novel comments on the danger of systematic masculinity with the all-male cast’s descent into savagery. “Being a man” was of the utmost importance to the boys’ egos and it is what fueled the progression of the story. For instance, Jack’s obsession with killing the pig to prove his masculinity is responsible for the violence that ensues among the boys. His association of manliness and violent behaviors is arguably the turning point of the entire plot. Without boys in this story, the plot simply does not make sense and therefore will not remain “faithful” to the book’s intended themes and messages.
While details of this movie are still relatively new, this gender-swapped idea will definitely lead to some interesting discussions about the adaptation.