David Cronenberg on why the new 'Fly' has been swatted
Fans of “The Fly” were intrigued a couple years back when David Cronenberg began working on a script for Fox that would put a new spin on one of his best-known movies. The script, it was reported at the time, would basically offer a new telling of the 1986 body horror classic -- only with the special-effects of the 21st century.
It turns out that intrigue was for naught. Cronenberg told 24 Frames that although he finished the script a while back -- creating "a different take on some elements of the plot" -- the movie is stillborn.
"It seems to be dead, and it's hard to penetrate the mysteries of the studio," Cronenberg said. "I'm not really getting a straight answer."
Any attempt to extricate it from Fox would fall flat, he added, because the studio has owned the project from the beginning and isn’t likely to part with it. A Fox spokesman did not comment on the project’s status.
Cronenberg's first “Fly,” itself a new spin on a 1958 classic, was of course a breakout hit, starring Jeff Goldblum as an eccentric scientist who accidentally transforms himself into the titular insect. A sequel was made a few years later (Cronenberg was not involved and it was poorly received).
The director did get a chance to steward an opera version of his film that began in Paris and eventually came to Los Angeles. And, of course, it's not as if Cronenberg hasn’t been busy. His Freud-Jung historical drama "A Dangerous Method" is currently in theaters, and he's next out with "Cosmpolis," an adaptation of the Don DeLillo novel starring "Twilight" mainstay Robert Pattinson. Cronenberg recently dished about both films to my colleague Rebecca Keegan.
But if a new version of "The Fly" was ever to be revived, Cronenberg said it had to happen in the relatively foreseeable future. "I think [the script] would survive five years," he said. "I don’t know about 10."
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Jeff Goldblum in "The Fly." Credit: 20th Century Fox