The Walt Disney Company is soon to conclude its merger with Fox, the most attention-grabbing feature of which will be Marvel Studios being able to use the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters in the MCU. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
On top of that, the company is also getting an enormous amount of rights to classic properties that sound like an odd fit for the House of Mouse. For instance, can you imagine Disney’s Alien? Donald Duck vs. Predator? Goofy teaming up with Mulder and Scully to investigate a seriously weird crime? Perhaps the strangest is that it seems that Disney will soon be releasing a remake of The Fly.
Though the story was first published in Playboy in 1957 and the first movie adaptation in 1958 was moderately successful, contemporary audiences are much more familiar with David Cronenberg’s absolutely astonishing take on the concept in 1986’s The Fly. Starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis, the film was an outright body horror in which a scientist finds his body transforming into a bizarre insect-human hybrid. With elements of Kafka’s metamorphosis baked into a seriously twisted rom-com style, it remains eminently watchable to this day.
However, it’s been 30 years since the property last saw a cinema screen (in the lesser sequel The Fly II) and it’s apparently time for a remake. The project’s being spearheaded by J.D. Dillard and Alex Theurer, who were responsible for the interesting 2016 movie Sleight (a street magician uses an electromagnetic gauntlet for crime and revenge).
Here’s Dillard’s take on it:
For me – and this would be about The Fly, but this is also about Alex and my approach to remakes because post-Sleight that has been the conversation for what a lot of big flashy studio gigs are – no matter what, we want to start with character. I think if you look at a lot of remakes, and the ones that may have not been as successful as others, I think often times the wrong pieces are remade. Having this conversation about bigger projects and IP, we really want to make sure we are following a beating heart first and foremost.
The merger had meant that this (and many other in-development projects at Fox) might be facing cancellation but apparently, Disney’s still interested in seeing it through. Of course, The Fly won’t be released under the Disney name and will instead probably come out under one of their sub-banners, but at least it’s a good sign that they aren’t giving up on Fox’s horror IPs so easily.