Luca Guadagnino Taps ‘A Monster Calls’ Author to Write ‘Lord of the Flies’ Adaptation
Art and Experience: Does Luca Guadagnino ever sleep? The Italian filmmaker released back-to-back arthouse favorites “Call Me by Your Name” and “Suspiria” in 2017 and 2018, launched the short film “The Staggering Girl” at Cannes in 2019, and he’s also working on an adaptation of William Golding’s AP English staple, “Lord of the Flies.” That’s not to mention his miniseries “We Are Who We Are” in the works, plus a sequel to “Call Me By Your Name,” and a long-rumored big-screen imagining of Bob Dylan’s iconic breakup album, “Blood on the Tracks.”
In the latest news on the front of “Lord of the Flies,” which Guadagnino is set up to direct for Warner Bros., the film has landed young-adult novelist and “A Monster Calls” scribe Patrick Ness as the screenwriter. There were previously talks of a gender-bent production, swapping in a group of school girls for the boys in the 1954 novel who, marooned on a desert island, unravel into savagery and madness. The screenplay was originally reported to come from Nicole Perlman and Geneva Robertson-Dworet — scribes behind such recent action tentpoles including “Captain Marvel,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and “Tomb Raider.” But now, Guadagnino and Ness’ version will hew closer to the source material, sticking to the all-male ensemble, according to the latest reports.
Ness is the bestselling author of other young-adult titles, including the “Chaos Walking” series, and he wrote the screenplay for the 2016 film adaptation of his book “A Monster Calls” for director J. A. Bayona, and created and wrote episodes for the “Doctor Who” spinoff, “Class.”
Quarantined in Milan, director Guadagnino is currently chipping away at “We Are Who We Are,” an HBO coming-of-age story set in Italy, and he’s continuing to dream up details for the “Call Me” sequel “Find Me,” adapted from author André Aciman’s 2019 followup novel that checks in on Elio and Oliver, who parted ways at the end of the first film and book. The Oscar-nominated director recently told the Italian publication Gay.it that he was set to come to America for a meeting with a potential screenwriter for the sequel just before Italy went on lockdown.
“I was going to America to meet a writer I love very much, whose name I don’t want to mention, to talk about the second part,” Guadagnino said. “Unfortunately, everything is canceled. Of course, it’s a great pleasure to work with Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stulhbarg, Esther Garrel, and the other actors. They will all be there in the new film.”