The rumored Lord of the Flies female remake has been confirmed, and here’s why it’s such a debacle.


Elizabeth Johnston, Story Editor

Many people are expressing concern over the rumored all-female remake of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, and with good reason.

Yes, they’re really making an all-female remake about a book explicitly centered around toxic masculinity! And for all those claiming that this is a perfect example of “female inclusion” and that we’re not in the position to complain: did you even read the book?

Golding’s 1954 classic explores very straightforward concepts: toxic masculinity and excessive male violence, specifically seen in the wake of a disaster in which societal chaos ensues. Not exactly rocket-science.

American filmmakers Scott McGehee and Evan Siegel are in charge of the adaptation, and spoke candidly about their vision.

“We want to do a very faithful but contemporised adaptation of the book, but our idea was to do it with all girls rather than boys,” Siegel said.

McGehee added, “Taking the opportunity to tell it in a way it hasn’t been told before, with girls rather than boys, [which] shifts things in a way that might help people see the story anew,”

Golding references the human impulses felt toward establishing a real sense of civilization and developing some sort of social organization before examining how the patriarchy made it nearly impossible for the characters to do so. Golding’s intent solely surrounded systemic male toxicity, and reinventing the story with an all female cast would not capture the true essence of the story.

Now, it goes without saying that yes, women are still perfectly capable of being equally destructive and violent as the purpose the book suggests, but to transform the characters for an all-female casted reboot discredits the notion of systemic, masculine toxicity.

Golding himself has said he intentionally focused the novel on boys instead of girls for two main reasons: First, he grew up as a little boy and not a girl, so he experienced boyhood firsthand, and secondly, he claims that, “a group of little boys are more like scaled down society than a group of little girls will be.”

“This has nothing to do with equality at all,” he continued. “I think women are foolish to pretend they’re equal to men—they’re far superior, and always have been. But one thing you can not do with them is take a bunch of them and boil them down into a set of little girls who would then become a kind of image of civilisation, or society. That’s another reason why they aren’t little girls.”

If that’s not a crystal-clear confirmation of Golding’s artistic intent, I don’t know what is. In short, the remake will prevent us from examining the role aggressive male antics play in society. By portraying a subjugated group replicating the power structure that actively subjugates them just reinforces the idea of that power being used against them. Some works have room for a little contemporisation; this novel, however, is not one of them.