EXCLUSIVE: Scott McGehee & David Siegel have made a deal at Warner Bros to write and direct a new version of Lord Of The Flies, based on the iconic William Golding novel. They plan to be faithful to the novel with one major twist: the young students stranded on a remote island who descend into a savage social order will be girls.
It is an intriguing take on a novel that was most famously turned into a 1963 film by Peter Brook. It was later turned into a 1990 Castle Rock film by director Harry Hook, which is how Warner Bros wound up with some of the rights. McGehee & Siegel last directed the 2012 drama What Maisie Knew, and before that Bee Season and The Deep End. They are very good at depicting traumatic events and stories seen through youthful eyes. They told Deadline they are big fans of Brook’s original film, but thought a new contemporized version felt timely. It took awhile for Warner Bros and their ICM Partners reps to work out the rights issues with the author’s estate. That just happened, and they have just closed their deals and will begin writing immediately.
“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. 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.”
They are repped by ICM Partners and Nelson Davis.