For years there has been gossip, chatter, rumors and speculation about the viability or otherwise about a reboot for The Fly. But now we can say that it is going ahead. The green light was given by 20th Century Fox as they identified J.D. Dillard to not only helm the project behind the camera, but double up to have co-writing duties for the screenplay as well.
Dillard's title Sleight won him universal acclaim at last year's edition of the Sundance Film Festival. And this will now be seen as his first real opportunity for the filmmaker to make a mark in mainstream circles. The very first incarnation of The Fly into an adapted motion picture occurred back in 1958 starring David Hedison, Patricia Owens, Vincent Price, and Herbert Marshall. Yet it would be the 1986 edition with Jeff Goldblum that entrenched the franchise.
Hard to Top Academy Award Winner
Such was the sick and twisted transformation of Jeff Goldblum's Seth Brundle character into a mutation of the insect and his old self, the movie actually took out an Academy Award for best makeup. Grossing over $60m at the time from a portion of the budget, the science fiction extravaganza from David Cronenberg would prove to be the most popular title of the director's career.
There were discussions with Cronenberg back in 2009 to return to the fold and reboot his own installment. But this fell down because both parties could not come to terms on the investment required to adapt the story to a modern audience. Details about how much Dillard can use from Fox have been kept under wraps to this point. Although he will certainly require much more than the $9-15m reported to make the previous edition some 31 years previous.
Franchise Stalled After Fly II Flop
Despite a promising tagline "Like Father, Like Son," The Fly II was an unmitigated disaster as the character Martin Brundle played by Eric Stoltz could not come anywhere as close to the drama, uniqueness and horror of his predecessor. Made just three years later in 1989, the sequel had none of the charisma or big names attached to the project. As director Chris Walas created a version that was largely forgettable and derided by critics.
With only $38.9m from their box office takings, any hope of a third in the series was dead in the water. Essentially killing the franchise in the process. It's taken upwards of 28 years to come to fruition, but we will be seeing a new version of The Fly in the not too distant future.