William Golding’s classic novel Lord of the Flies is a formative text for many teens — primarily because it’s taught in high schools everywhere — and has received a few different theatrical adaptations over the years. One thing that Golding’s novel doesn’t have is any female characters, which is kind of the point since it’s a book about how systemic toxic masculinity disrupts the fragile rule of law among a group of young boys stranded on a deserted island.
Apparently Warner Bros. missed that part, which might help explain why they are now developing a Lord of the Flies adaptation with an all-female cast.
As reported by Deadline, Scott McGehee and David Siegel will write and direct a new adaptation of Golding’s novel, which will follow a group of school girls as they try and survive on an island following a plane crash. Yes, that’s right: the all-female Lord of the Flies film will be written and directed by two men. Here’s what one of them had to say about the project:
“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,” Siegel told Deadline. “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.”
McGehee said the subject matter “is aggressively suspenseful, and taking the opportunity to tell it in a way it hasn’t been told before, with girls rather than boys, is that it shifts things in a way that might help people see the story anew. It breaks away from some of the conventions, the ways we think of boys and aggression.
Of course, Lord of the Flies is about much more than toxic masculinity, as it’s also been widely interpreted as an anti-war story and a tale of innocence lost, not to mention its many biblical parallels … but we probably won’t be seeing any of that in this new adaptation:
“People still talk about the movie and the book from the standpoint of pure storytelling,” he said. “It is a great adventure story, real entertainment, but it has a lot of meaning embedded in it as well. We’ve gotten to think about this awhile as the rights were worked out, and we’re super eager to put pen to paper.”
Unsurprisingly, this news has been receiving quite a bit of ridicule from both men and women alike:
Dudes writing a female version of LORD OF THE FLIES is like a gift to the problematic think piece gods…
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) August 30, 2017
The Lord of the Flies movie feels like a studio had a big jar of "Make with Chicks?" ideas & just picked the one that made the least sense.
— Sam (@unegrandefemme) August 31, 2017
An all women remake of Lord of the Flies makes no sense because… the plot of that book wouldn't happen with all women.
— roxane gay (@rgay) August 31, 2017
Just going to put this out there: how about Lord of the Flies, but with a mix of boys AND girls? Now that could actually be interesting … which is why it won’t happen.