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Web Stalker – Shoo Fly… Cronenberg’s (Second) Remake Builds Bad Buzz

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Paging David Cronenberg! The movie-loving world would very much like to know why you’ve decided to remake your remake of The Fly. Horror obsessives are scratching their collective head over the news and coming up mostly empty in the motive department, so please send any and all announcements, rebuttals, or retractions directly to Web Stalker, c/o the Internet, so we can all get some rest.

To recap: Last week, the Hollywood Reporter‘s Risky Business blog broke the news that Cronenberg was in discussion with 20th Century Fox to write and possibly direct a remake-slash-reboot-slash-reimagining of his surprise 1986 hit — itself a remake of Kurt Neumann’s 1958 cult favorite — with an eye to taking advantage of new special effects technologies. The column points out that the news marks a startling about face for Cronenberg, who has long proclaimed his distaste for similar projects. So just what do we think is going on here?

Cronenberg’s thoughts about remakes just a few years back were pretty unambiguous, MTV’s movie blog points out, quoting him as saying, “I’ve heard of remakes of everything from ‘The Brood,’ to ‘The Fly,’ to you name it…There’s such a desire to have some kind of comfort level amongst producers, and if it’s a known property [that helps]. That’s one of the reasons, for example, that graphic novels are getting made into movies: They can see it. It’s there. They can hold it in their hands. It maybe has a pre-sold audience, up to a certain point. So I guess it’s inevitable that they’d be trolling for remakes.” Got it: Remakes are driven by risk-averse producers with no imagination. So why the 180?

Movie bloggers would sure like to know: “It’s a bit odd when a director remakes one of his own films, but it’s downright weird when he remakes his own remake,” muses Mark’s Horror & Suspense Blog. “Why for the love of Brundlefly would he do that? It’s possible that Cronenberg might be intrigued by using modern technology in the transformation scenes, but frankly, the old school makeup effects were a large part of what made his version so great.”

There is something undeniably charming about the original’s hokey effects, and the collective “WTF?” the news has inspired is hardly surprising. As Collider mourns, “It’s really not my Cronenberg fanboy inside speaking when I say that I don’t get why this is happening at all. The film holds up perfectly well and even though I can sadly see why Hollywood and Fox would want to reboot or remake the film, I just don’t get why Cronenberg would want to.” Bloody-Disgusting concurs. “Stop the presses, hold everything, wait, wait wait…. excuse me? David Cronenberg is returning to The Fly… This one’s definitely got me scratching my head. How could it possibly be any better?”

The fact that reactions haven’t been more vitriolic is a good indication of the esteem in which David Cronenberg is held by genre fans. “This idea is dumber than a box full of pixie sticks,” starts Pajiba.com, before continuing, “But then again: A remake was inevitable. And if there’s got to be a remake, Cronenberg is better than Rob Zombie or Marcus Nispel. So, truce.” Cinematical agrees, sighing, “Can you get angry about a reboot if it’s rebooting a past reboot that was wildly successful, and that same filmmaker is returning?”

Meanwhile, FirstShowing took the reasonable road: “Can’t wait for someone to talk with Cronenberg to find out exactly why he’s coming back.” Hear, hear! You can rest assured that hungry newshounds are beating the down the door of his publicist as we speak, and there will most assuredly be an announcement that puts all the rumors to rest in 5, 4, 3, 2…

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