'The Fly' Remake: J.D. Dillard Wants To Bring Some Real Emotion To The Blockbuster Re-Do

Last month it was revealed that Sleight director J.D. Dillard was in talks to direct and co-write a remake of  David Cronenberg's classic horror remake The Fly. J.D. is reteaming with his Sleight writing partner Alex Theurer to develop the new remake for 201th Century Fox. This morning I got the chance to ask J.D. about his take on the film. Find out what he said about The Fly remake pitch, after the jump.

jd dillard

This morning I got an opportunity to sit down with Dillard to talk about his Sundance sensation Sleight, which is finally about to hit screens nationwide (look out for that full interview next week). At the end of the discussion, I asked about his plans to remake The Fly. Dillard warned me that the project is still in the "early days" of development and that the deal to make the film is still in negotiations, but he seems very excited about the prospect of making it.

For me – and this would be about The Fly, but this is also about Alex and my approach to remakes because post-Sleight that has been the conversation for what a lot of big flashy studio gigs are – no matter what, we want to start with character. I think if you look at a lot of remakes, and the ones that may have not been as successful as others, I think often times the wrong pieces are remade. Having this conversation about bigger projects and IP, we really want to make sure we are following a beating heart first and foremost.

Dillard points to Fox's new Planet of the Apes series as an example of when it's done right.

We talk about Apes as one of our favorite franchise remakes because its incredible to see what pieces of those films are being remade. It's technically the broad conceit that's being remade, but its a deeply emotional story that carries you through the franchise. It's so weird: even watching the trailer for the new movie that's coming out, I can look into Caesar's eyes and remember the first movie, and that sensation is unparalleled for a franchise reboot for me. It's like, man this planet is like fucked and everything is wrong and there is war but I can look into Caesar's eyes and remember the emotion of the James Franco story and that's important to me. Anywhere we go it's coming from that point of view, just that we want the beating heart of the story be our North star. And then action, fun and scale can be piled on, but I've started to realize my dream film experience is something with big scale that can also make me cry. And not cry for nostalgia, but to be emotionally moved.

Dillard has been thinking long and hard about the movie experience he most wants to experience as a filmgoer and would love to be able to create as a filmmaker:

I made the joke at a screening Q&A the other night but I want to take Mike Mills' Beginners and match it with something like Guardians of the Galaxy. Now that technically makes no sense, but I want to be really gutted emotionally and feel something but also all the pieces from a blockbuster are there too. That's the gap that I would love to find a way to close.

So it sounds like it will be a while before we hear more details on this project, but JD is saying all the right things in broad strokes. J.D's first film Sleight will hit theaters on April 28, 2017, when the filmmaker is already on location of his next movie Sweetheart starring Kiersey Clemons and Emory Cohen.