Fox Pukes Up Cronenberg’s THE FLY Remake

Fox says "Nah" to the director's potential return to horror.

David Cronenberg made a name for himself early in his career by inventing his own subgenre – “body horror.” From Shivers through to Dead Ringers and beyond, grisly physical transformation was the connecting thread. And while he seems to have left outright horror behind, his films in the past decade have revealed that his oeuvre really is connected – his films have almost always been about the nature of identity, and a singular mystery – (and I’m paraphrasing here), “at what point do I cease to be me?” It’s the central question of Videodrome just as much as it’s the central question of A History Of Violence and Eastern Promises. He’s traded bladder effects and corporeal horror for the equally compelling milieu of psychological transformation, and the result has been some of the best films of his career. So it was a bit of a shock when Cronenberg recently announced he’d written an update of his seminal 1986 film The Fly for 20th Century Fox. Calling it “more a sequel than a remake”, fans immediately began buzzing (sorry, sorry) about this project, and what sort of unexpected directions it would go.

Well, Fox certainly went the unexpected route; according to indiewire, they’ve passed on it. Horror/Cronenberg/good movie fans will no doubt be baffled and outraged by this news, leaving one to wonder what the hell Cronenberg came up with that caused the studio to pass on such an exciting prospect. Putting aside the fact that Cronenberg is one of  the last men standing of his generation of filmmakers, the only one not resting on his laurels and actually improving with age, what the hell kind of move is this? It's not hard to imagine that a Cronenberg-penned “more sequel than a remake” to a 25 year old film was seen as something of a hard sell by the studio. On the other hand, Cronenberg’s return to horror practically markets itself, doesn’t it?  I'm itching to know more about this story, but until I can figure it out, I have no choice but to blame the underperforming Thing prequel for this one.