That’s right, one of the ultimate stories of toxic masculinity will receive the “strong female character” treatment. Warner Bros. is planning a Lord of the Flies adaptation featuring exclusively girls, rather than the collection of boys from the original story.
Even more troubling, the film will be written and directed by two men.
Scott McGehee and David Siegel will adapt the classic 1954 novel of young boys stranded on an island following a plane crash. As time passes the boys descend into increasingly violent behavior. It’s very much a tale of masculinity and the extremes these boys reach to prove their dominance and manliness to each other. They hunt and kill and fight, with the most violent of the boys achieving greater status than those of fainter disposition. A larger point is made about the influence of masculine expectations of strength and power, and how this influence leads to the tragedies of the books.
How in the world will this translate when switching the boys out for girls? Well, whatever slim, faint hope I might have had went out the window when I heard two men would create this genderbent story.
Look, we’re all almost certainly expecting the same thing. Plainly, this story does not work simply switching out boys for girls. The entire point of Lord of the Flies is lost in the process. Most girls are not raised to emphasize strength and violence to achieve power. Throwing a group of girls on an island most likely isn’t going to lead to the fracturing and violence of the original story. It misses the point of why said fracturing and violence occurred.
Unfortunately, this movie feels like an offensive attempt at false feminism operating under the assumption that feminism means “women acting like men.” Maybe I’ll be surprised, and we’ll get a surprising movie about the dynamics of girls finding coexistence and conflict among numerous groups highlighting the differences in upbringing for boys and girls.
I don’t think anyone should hold their breath, though.