Cronenberg’s The Fly Remake Is Getting Another Remake
It looks like David Cronenberg’s beloved body horror classic may be getting an update.
This week, Deadline reported that negotiations regarding a remake of David Cronenberg’s The Fly are currently in the works. Cronenberg’s version, released in 1986, was itself a remake of the 1958 original film, making us think that there’s an otherworldly force mandating that The Fly gets rebooted approximately once every 30 years.
The Fly—which stars Jeff Goldblum at peak charm levels and Geena Davis in one of her earliest roles—centres on Seth Brundle (Goldblum), a scientist who creates a teleportation device (or “telepod”) and tests it out on himself, not knowing that a housefly entered the machine right before it was activated. As you can probably guess, Brundle eventually starts transforming into a half-man, half-fly creature, a being that he hilariously dubs the “Brundlefly.”
Though Cronenberg was reportedly attached to a possible The Fly remake/sequel back in 2009, negotiations ended due to budget disagreements between the Canadian auteur and 20th Century Fox. Fox wanted to lower the film’s budget but also didn’t want to cut the “big-budget” sections of Cronenberg’s script. Now, instead of Cronenberg, Sleight‘s J.D. Dillard is in talks to direct the film and produce a script in collaboration with Alex Theurer, his longtime writing partner.
J.D. Dillard may not be a household name, but the young director’s been garnering a lot of attention since Sleight screened at last year’s Sundance Film Festival and got picked up by two production companies within a week of its premiere. Dillard is also in pre-production for the upcoming Sweetheart, a horror-thriller film starring Transparent‘s Kiersey Clemons.
The Fly has held up surprisingly well and is still fondly remembered for its compelling plot, committed performances, still-impressive practical effects, and Oscar-winning makeup. The film even recently made Entertainment Weekly‘s list of “Most Disturbing—and Critically Acclaimed—Movies to Ever Hit Theaters,” with writer Alex Heigl praising “Cronenberg’s allegory for the ageing, sickening, and eventual death of one-half of a partnership.” It’s also worth mentioning that The Fly is, to-date, Cronenberg’s highest-grossing film of all time.
With such a positive reputation, Cronenberg fans may be wary about a possible remake, especially since The Fly II was reviewed incredibly poorly. But, again, Cronenberg’s version was a remake as well, proving that reboots can sometimes turn out better than expected. And as Collider pointed out, a The Fly remake may end up being worthwhile (and hopefully financially successful) if it does “what Cronenberg did with his reboot—have something new and relevant to say about technology.”
Check out the 1986 film’s original trailer below: