William Golding's 1954 novel Lord of The Flies is as relevant today as it was 63 years ago as it sheds light on social structure and herd mentality through the story of a group of school boys stranded on a deserted island.
Now, Warner Bros wants to make a new film based on the book, but this time around cast girls in the roles of the stranded children. According to Deadline, What Maisie Knew directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel have signed a contract to write the script and helm the project.
"We want to do a very faithful but contemporised adaptation of the book, but our idea was to do it with all girls rather than boys," Siegel said. "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 behaviour they saw in grownups before they were marooned."
The book was previously adapted for the big screen twice – in 1963 by Peter Brook and later in 1990 by Harry Hook.
McGhee believes that portraying the events from this feminine angle will shed light on the theme of the story, different from that of the earlier movies. "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."
While the directors and studio are keen to take this project further, fans of the book and earlier films are not sure that changing the gender of the children in the story will not impact the whole series of events that take place on the island.
Golding himself once explained why the story would not go the same way with a group of girls. "If you, as it were, scaled down human beings, scaled down society, if you land with a group of little boys, they are more like a scaled-down version of society than a group of little girls would be," the late Nobel Prize winner explained. "This is nothing to do with equality at all. I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been.
"But one thing you can't do with them is take a bunch of them and boil them down, so to speak, into a set of little girls who would then become a kind of image of civilisation, of society," the author said in an interview prior to his death in 1993.
Others too have stated that a group of girls would respond to being stranded on an island very differently. "A female Lord of the Flies??? So what it's going to be Mean Girls Island Edition? Let's be real women wouldn't kill each other," one person commented on Twitter.
"We don't need an all-girl version of Lord of the Flies. We know what you get from a female-only island society: Wonder Woman," another commented.