Full disclosure: about four years ago, I went in and took a series of meetings about possibly rewriting “The Fly.” At that point, the original short story by George Langelaan was Fox’s main interest. They wanted to start there and then build something that was radically different than either the 1958 film or the 1986 film.
So of course, today, in an effort to guarantee that they don’t do anything remotely similar to either of those films, they hired David Cronenberg to direct the new version.
I’m not automatically opposed to the idea. I think Cronenberg is one of the greatest directors who ever worked in the horror genre, a fiercely independent voice whose 1986 version of “The Fly” is a tremendously affecting horror film and also one of the greatest AIDS-era movies about living with someone as they deteriorate before your eyes.
I guess I’m a little confused, though. Cronenberg has always seemed downright hostile about another remake of this story. He recently toured the world with an opera version of the story, co-written with Howard Shore, and I figured that was his last word on it.
Now I’m reading that technology is a factor in getting him to sign on for another version, and that just baffles me. Really? CGI is what’s going to get Cronenberg to saddle up again? Somehow, that doesn’t seem right.
[more after the jump]
The thing about that short story is that no one’s done it on film yet. Not the original movie. Not the sequel to it. Not the remake. They’ve barely touched the source material. And there’s still a lot of greatness in there if they go digging. Or if Cronenberg has a brand-new angle that he thinks makes the material relevant again, I’m interested. This isn’t the sort of film I want to dismiss over some knee-jerk reaction.
But it’s been a discouraging month for me on the movie side of things, and I am reaching a point where I really truly actively hate our business. I love individual movies as much as I ever have, but the industry right now is a rancid, bloated corpse, and Hollywood keeps poking it with a stick, hoping it’ll explode and just hoping none of it ends up on them. We are eating our tail, and when an artist as singular and personal as David Cronenberg ends up remaking a movie HE ALREADY REMADE, we are truly in the end days.
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