'The Fly' Remake: Happy Birthday, David Cronenberg

No one's topping this. 20th Century Fox

David Cronenberg — director of Shivers, Rabid, The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, eXistenZ, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, Cosmopolis and Maps to the Stars — turned 74 Wednesday. What better gift than a legacy cementing remake of his greatest movie, The Fly?

Fox is locking in J.D. Dillard to write and direct a remake of The Fly. His directorial debut, Sleight, was big at Sundance, drawing favorable comparisons to Iron Man and Chronicle . That said, there’s absolutely no possible way that his remake of The Fly will be better than Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of 1958’s The Fly.

The Fly is the best horror movie of the 1980s (if we cut out 1980, the year The Shining came out). Not only is it an unimpeachable horror classic, but it’s also a landmark special effects showcase. That The Fly still looks great neuters one of the most common arguments for a remake: to update the special effects with shiny computer toys.

So, sometime in the next few years, a remake of The Fly will come out and soon be forgotten, because, again, it won’t possibly approach Cronenberg’s. But it will have one nice side effect: mediocre remakes can validate classics. How many more people saw the original Cape Fear thanks to Scorsese’s inferior remake? Wicker Man may have a higher profile than ever, thanks to the Nicolas Cage version. Lame remakes accentuate, by contrast, just what made the original so potent in the first place.

So happy birthday, David Cronenberg, we’ll never forget The Fly now.

Join the Discussion
Top Stories