David Cronenberg’s 1986 body horror film “The Fly” has scarred many a viewer throughout the decades. The director is largely considered the founder of the body horror genre, which revolves around graphic depictions of the human body degenerating or being radically altered, and “The Fly” is a shining — and proudly disgusting — example of what the genre can be.
Now, 20th Century Fox is planning to remake the film with the help of director J.D. Dillard, who is currently in negotiations to direct and co-write the movie.
Dillard’s latest movie is “Sleight,” set to debut at the end of April. In the film, a young street magician, Bo (Jacob Latimore) is tasked with taking care of his sister after their parents’ abrupt passing. To make ends meet, Bo starts using his unique skillset to commit crimes, eventually running afoul of the wrong criminals who then kidnap his sister. Bo is forced to use his magic and quick thinking if he wants to save the last family member he has.
“Sleight” is Dillard’s second directorial credit on a feature film. The movie originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016. Distribution rights for “Sleight” were later picked up by WWE Studios and Blumhouse Tilt, the latter of which is known for its massive, small-budget horror film output, like the recent “Get Out,” as well as the long-running “Paranormal Activity” and “Insidious” franchises.
Cronenberg’s “The Fly” starred Jeff Goldblum as Seth Brundle, an eccentric scientist obsessed with mastering instantaneous teleportation. Brundle reveals his twin teleportation pods to science reporter Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) and, later, after a series of poorly planned experiments, Brundle’s DNA is inadvertently blended with a common housefly, causing his body to slowly morph into a monstrous man-fly hybrid. The film won an Academy Award for Best Makeup, the only one of Cronenberg’s films to win an Oscar.
“The Fly” has seen numerous attempts at sequels and revivals since its debut. In 1989, Chris Walas, the head special effects artist on the original film, directed “The Fly II,” which saw Brundle’s son, Martin (Eric Stoltz), following in his father’s footsteps when he is recruited to finish work on the teleportation pods. In 2009, Cronenberg announced he was preparing his own sequel to the 1986 film. That plan fizzled, and in 2012 the director stated the sequel had been turned down by Fox due to budgetary constraints.