A while back, 20th Century Fox wanted a remake of The Fly, so they chose The Apparition helmer Todd Lincoln to take the seat in the director chair. Not long after Lincoln was set to direct, his job was given up in favor of David Cronenberg. However, once Cronenberg finished the script, 20th Century Fox ultimately decided to axe the remake all together.Was Fox’s decision for the best or did we miss out on two possible versions of The Fly that would have been quite good?
Both Cronenberg and Lincoln recently weighed in on their versions of The Fly that could have been and they are both very interesting. Todd Lincoln’s version seemed to be a bit closer to the Vincent Price original as he said, “My version of The Fly was a dark, twisted, grounded re- imagining… Part Val-Lewton, part J.G Ballard, part Neal Stephenson with some Horror Manga touches. This had nothing to do with the Cronenberg version and it would absolutely not have had the same color palette. This was an all new vision and direction, but still done with complete respect for all five other Fly films and the original short story published in Playboy magazine that started it all… I would have done it almost entirely with practical FX. Anyway, at the time I developed my take, it was too far out for the studio and they ended up deciding to do more of a straight remake.”
I do like that Lincoln was definitely going to try to make his own version of the film by staying away from Cronenberg’s classic.
As I mentioned above, Cronenberg actually had a script finished and ready to go before the project got dumped by Fox. So what was his newest take on The Fly going to be like? “It wasn’t really a remake, it was more of a sequel or a sidebar. It was a meditation on fly-ness. None of the same characters or anything and, of course, with an understanding of modern technology. It was something I was very pleased with and it was a disappointment not to get it made… it was a budget problem, basically.”
It’s a bit disappointing knowing that Cronenberg had something in his mind that he really liked but couldn’t see it come to life due to budget issues. While I really like Lincoln’s approach, I would have much rather seen Cronenberg’s version simply because it’s Cronenberg. Either way, it’s always fun hearing from two separate minds and their ideas about a classic film like The Fly and what could have been.
Which one do you prefer?