Lord of the Flies, But With Women, Written by Men

Image via Getty
Image via Getty

Two Hollywood broskis are gonna tuuuhtally flip the gender script by adapting Lord of the Flies, a stony classic novel, for the big screen—but instead of populating it with boys, who are known for their “aggression,” they’re going to have it be all about GIRLS, who are known for... NOT their aggression! TASTY WAVES! TAKE THAT STRAIGHT SHOT OF FEMINISM STRAIGHT TO UR BONER, YOU BONER!

Seriously, though: Deadline reports that the male screenwriting/directing duo Scott McGehee and David Siegel just closed a deal with Warner to write and direct their vision of the William Golding novel you were assigned to read in seventh grade: the twist is, it’s going to be girls who go territorial and murderous this time. McGehee 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.”


What he leaves out is that it then wades into the depths of the ways we think about girls and aggression, which carries all sorts of stereotypes that can be summoned by invoking a single evocative word: catfight. Plus, is this dude saying the film will combat gender essentialism with gender essentialism? Who freakin knows! All I know is that I was once a preteen girl, and I can say with authority that the very last people who I felt then (and feel now) could accurately assess my experiences as such were adult men. (The last two films about young girls that McGeehee and David Siegel worked on, Bee Season and What Maisie Knew, had scripts written by women.) I can say pretty confidently right now that we just do not need this. There’s still time to hire some women screenwriters, though, and avoid the dreadful stereotypes we’re all scared are coming.

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The only way this could not be completely awful is if it were an exact recreation of the original story but gender swapped, because that would tell us some interesting things about how we perceive violence and gender. Anything else is going to be a stereotyped mess.