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William Golding’s gripping 1954 novel Lord of the Flies is poised to get a fresh cinematic adaptation. But there’s a twist. Instead of featuring a cast of boys, it’s slated to star a group of females. This forthcoming all-girl “Lord of the Flies” remake however has stirred controversy already.

All-girl ‘Lord of the Flies’ remake announced

1954 classic novel Lord of the Flies centers around a group of boys who become shipwrecked on an island. Sans adult supervision, the males end up forming a self-destructive governing body.

David Siegel and Scott McGehee are set to write and direct this new take. There’s been a major resistance to the film however. Many thoughts point out the ridiculousness of having an all-female Lord of the Flies remake that’s directed by two men.

William Golding even supposed that “If you land with a group of little boys, they are more like scaled-down society than a group of little girls would be…Don’t ask me why,and this is a terrible thing to say, because I’m going to be chased from hell to breakfast by all the women who talk about equality. This has 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.”

This isn’t the first time an adaptation with an all-female cast has occurred recently. In 2016, “Ghostbusters” debuted and starred a pack of four leading females. Unfortunately, it wasn’t nearly the classic the 1984 “Ghostbusters” was, though not by any fault of the cast. Thus far, Golding’s novel has been adapted twice, once in 1962 and later in 1990. The ’62 version is more faithful to the source material than its successor.

What are your thoughts on an all-female “Lord of the Flies” film?

  • So here’s a bit of lit history: Sir William Golding wrote “Lord of the Flies” in 1954 in response to an earlier novel called “The Coral Island,” by R. M. Ballantyne in 1858. In “The Coral Island,” a small group of upper-class British boys from a boarding school get stranded on an island and have an absolutely wonderful time. They look back on it as a fond adventure, where they had a little vacation, invented things, and generally made their well-bred high society English parents proud.

    Golding read that novel and was disgusted by the way that Ballantyne used the plot as a huge essay on the superior intellect and higher morality of English folk (read: White people) and depicted the local Polynesian natives as raping, pillaging, amoral cannibals. He set out to write a more realistic novel, using the same names for his main characters as Ballantyne did (although Golding’s characters are slightly younger). So all those articles and posts about how “Lord of the Flies” shows “the human condition” are correct _only_insofar_as_it_pertains_to_ young middle-class British boys who grew up in a boarding house in the middle of the Cold War. “Lord of the Flies” was meant as a huge “f— you” to the ingrained belief that English people are the most noble and wise of all people and thus incapable of descending into savagery, _not_ as a sweeping generalized metaphor for the universal savage nature of humanity.

    What is perceived as the unchangeable truth deep inside humanity is just the base truths about what happens when you remove any accountability controlling one social group which has an overwhelming sense of entitlement and an inability to feel compassion.

    (See also: the Stanford Prison Experiment, which doesn’t so much show “human nature” as it shows the nature of White middle class college-aged guys.)

    • Mitchell C. Long

      Thanks for the history tidbit! “Lord of the Flies” is one of my all-time favorite books. Back in freshman year of high school, I wrote a lost ending to it. May have to bust that one out sometime.

      I may read “The Coral Island,” so that I can re-read “Lord of the Flies” with a fresh lens. It’s interesting Golding kept the same names for the main characters. An unconventional, but wise, choice. This likely makes the juxtaposition even more concrete and clear. A very important distinction RE: the human condition of a certain group, and debunking the concept of English folks as automatically noble.

      Also, if you enjoy “LotF,” there’s an audiobook of it read by Golding and it’s amazing.