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Lord of the Ladybugs: Do We Really Need an All-Girl Lord of the Flies?

“Kill the pig! Cut her throat! Spill her blood!”

William Golding’s 1954 classic, about a group of English schoolboys who descend into violence and barbarity after being stranded on a remote island, is now being remade with an all female cast, as reported by Deadline.

Hands down, the best way for two dudes to make their sophomore English teacher proud is to prove exactly how little they paid attention to class discussions about Lord of the Flies by writing a “faithful yet contemporary adaptation” of the novel that exclusively stars women. Which is exactly what Scott McGehee and David Siegel (pictured below) have set out to do.

“[We’re] taking the opportunity to tell it in a way it hasn’t been told before,” McGehee tells Deadline. “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. People still talk about the movie and the book from the standpoint of pure storytelling,” says McGehee. But all I can hear is:

Lord of the Flies is widely considered to be a criticism of toxic masculinity and the threat it poses to society. In their creation of a gender-bent remake, McGehee and Siegel are willfully ignoring the broader societal implications of the original novel. This story becomes fundamentally different when made about women.

 

“Which is better–to have laws and agree, or to hunt and kill?”

When faced with this question, the boys show a preference for the latter, brandishing spears and killing the question’s asker. The book depends on the way these privileged white boys turn against one another and act on their senses of entitlement. They favor wild hunting and killing over working together to survive and get off the island. Girls, however, would react to being marooned very differently. Girls would work together and take care of one another, rather than wasting time sowing discord and playing racist games.  

While I’m fully supportive of increasing the number of women in Hollywood (an all-girl Lord of the Flies should pass the Bechdel Test…right?), putting a film like this in the hands of two men is a terrible idea.

And besides, why do we need a remake of a remake of a movie that was terrible to begin with? If the concept of an all-girl Lord of the Flies interests you, try reading Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens, or just watch Mean Girls instead. Spoiler alert? Everyone lives.

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