Reboots of franchises tend to be a hit-or-miss affair. The cinematic remake of the “Power Rangers” TV series, which first aired in the 1990s, was met with mixed receptions for instance. Recently the writing-producing-directing team of Scott McGehee and David Siegel has proposed a reboot of a fairly old franchise of sorts, based on a 1954 book by British author William Golding.

Lord of the Flies” has since become a favored reading material at schools in both the US and the UK, with its haunting and thought-provoking story of a group of boys marooned on an uncharted tropical island.

However, their idea of changing the characters into a group of stranded girls was met with some harsh criticism.

Castaway thriller

David Siegel and Scott McGehee are working on a new film version of “Lord of the Flies” for Warner Brother Pictures, with them as writer and producer. Their stated aim is to make a faithful adaptation of the book, which depicts how some boy castaways on an island break into rival camps while descending into superstition and savagery after a failed attempt at governing themselves. Siegel calls the book a timeless story of interpersonal conflicts and bullying, themes that remain relevant today.

McGehee for his part stated his admiration for the “aggressively suspenseful” plot of “Lord of the Flies,” and wants to take a chance in retelling the story, which has been adapted several times for film, radio, and stage.

Their idea is to have the castaways be girls rather than boys, believing that it shifts the dynamics of character and plot to give a new viewpoint for audiences. When word of this came out in the news, however, there was a massive backlash for the project, comparing the all-girl “Lord of the Flies” remake to the 2016 “Ghostbusters” reboot which also featured a predominantly female cast.

Negative outcry

There was an eruption over in social media decrying the plans for remaking “Lord of the Flies” with girls.

Reactions range from pointing out that Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s reboot misses the point of the original in its conception, to how the movie is symptomatic of a lack of original stories with girls. William Golding himself noted in an interview that he made all the characters in the book boys because he himself was male. He did once remark that women did not need to make themselves equal to men because females were superior, to begin with.

Lord of the Flies” was made into film three times: a British production in 1963, a localized Filipino adaptation in 1975, and a contemporary American remake in 1990 by Columbia Pictures and Castle Rock Entertainment.