William Golding’s classic 1954 novel Lord of the Flies has been required reading in high schools and universities for decades now. A new movie based on the book is set to turn the story on its head, though, by gender-swapping the story’s protagonists from boys to girls.
Filmmaking duo Scott McGehee & David Siegel (What Maisie Knew, Uncertainty) are set to write and direct the new Lord of the Flies movie, which they say will otherwise remain faithful to the original novel.
For those unaware, Lord of the Flies tells the tale of a group of young British boys who are stranded on an uninhabited island and unsuccessfully try to create a new society.
“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,” says Siegel.
However, the new film is already facing heavy criticism on multiple fronts for its decision to reimagine the castaways as girls.
For starters, many find it problematic for two adult men to be creating a story involving young girls without it turning out completely inauthentic.
imagine having such little interest in seeking out original stories about girlhood by women that you remake LORD OF THE FLIES with girls
— JamesHurleyVEVO (@soalexgoes) August 30, 2017
Others point out that the gender of the island’s inhabitants was a deliberate choice as the book is meant to shine a light on issues of masculinity.
Golding himself famously said of his protagonists, “they are more like a scaled-down version of society than a group of little girls would be” because women are “far superior to men.”
Obviously, Golding’s comments were made during a less progressive age of society and can be considered sexist in a certain context.
Nonetheless, it seems impossible to simply swap the genders and still create a faithful version of the original novel, as a group of girls would inherently react differently than a group of boys. For the record, Lord of the Flies has already been adapted for the screen twice before: once in 1963 and again in 1990.