I remain intrigued by director Luca Guadagnino's planned remake of Suspiria, mostly because the Bigger Splash and I Am Love helmer seems to have a real personal investment in the material. As the filmmaker told me back in May, “It's something that speaks much about my childhood, that movie…I saw the poster when I was ten and I was mesmerized by it. I finally saw the movie when I was 14, and I became obsessed. I grew up as a big fan of Dario Argento. It made a great impression on me. So I look forward to try to translate the impression I had.”
It's an ambitious goal, and I am curious how Guadagnino plans to capture the kind of bold, haunting magic that made Dario Argento's original so mesmerizing while making something that isn't a simple retread of the 1977 film. As revealed in a new interview with Indiewire, Argento himself has similar questions.
“The film has a specific mood,” said Argento from the Locarno Film Festival. “Either you do it exactly the same way — in which case, it”s not a remake, it”s a copy, which is pointless — or, you change things and make another movie. In that case, why call it Suspiria?”
Argento makes some good points here, though he doesn't seem entirely opposed to the project; indeed, he says he'd be willing to “give some advice” to Guadagnino if asked. Which he hasn't been, for the record.
“What”s really absurd – really unbelievable – is that I have never, ever been asked about it. I mean, I never got a call or anything, asking me about casting, locations, whatever. I know nothing about this project except what I read in the papers. I repeat: I have ever, ever been asked about it.”
Argento comes across a little annoyed here, but then again, asking the veteran director for his advice would essentially defeat Guadagnino's purpose in remaking Suspiria, which is to evoke his own impressions of seeing the film as an adolescent. Given that, there's really no point in seeking Argento's counsel (though it might be nice if Guadagnino asked for his blessing).
The new Suspiria is set to star Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson, both of whom were featured in Guadagnino's A Bigger Splash earlier this year (Swinton also appeared in his previous feature, I Am Love). There is no release date set at this time.