Way back in 2008 David Gordon Green announced he would be engineering a new take on Dario Argento’s 1977 Giallo classic Suspiria, a now-iconic entry in the Italian horror canon. The Prince Avalanche helmer busied himself with writing a scary homage to Argento’s original, and even managed to secure a couple of starry names to appear in the film. Alas, his ideas turned out to be too expensive for studio tastes, he told CraveOnline, and he dropped out in June.
Far from done, the movie has a new filmmaker at the reins; Italian director Luca Guadagnino, whose involvement was sneakily revealed during an interview with Empire. The helmer spoke to the outlet following a screening of his latest feature A Bigger Splash at the Venice Film Festival, as he talked of the original’s influence on his career:
“The film by Dario Argento was a very indicative moment of growing up for me because I saw it when I was 14. I think it changed me forever. I was obsessed [with Argento] through all my adolescence. [My version] is going to be set in Berlin in 1977. It’s going to be about the mother and the concept of motherhood and about the uncompromising force of motherhood. It’s going to be about finding your inner voice – the title is very evocative on these grounds.”
Argento’s pioneering film revolved around Jessica Harper’s ballet student Suzy Bannion, an American dancer who takes up her studies in Munich. The prestigious dance academy she attends turns out to be a sham, masking the coven of witches at its center. Guadagnino’s version will paying its respects to Argento’s story, yet will still be “very different.”
“The movie by Dario Argento was maybe a child of its own times. It’s very delicate; almost childish. I have a very strong interest in German literature and film, so I think [my] Suspiria will have to focus very strongly on that moment in history, in 1977, when Germany was divided and a new generation was claiming and asking to recognise the debt of guilt that forged the new Germany after the war against the fathers who wanted to deny the responsibility.”
Packing in the scares to draw out social commentary is a shared goal for horror filmmakers, and Guadagnino intends to propel that trend forward. Sadly, he won’t be doing it with Isabelle Huppert or Isabelle Fuhrman – who were both previously attached to co-star. “That was for a version by David Gordon Green,” he told Empire. “That’s not the case for me. I can’t say anything about the casting right now. I will announce very soon.”
We’ll keep you updated on any of his casting announcements as soon as they go public, but until then tell us: who would you cast in Suspiria?