David Cronenberg And Mel Brooks Had Very Different Visions For The Fly 2

David Cronenberg's "The Fly" (1986) is one of the most fondly remembered remakes in the history of cinema. The film revamps the original "The Fly" franchise, which first began with a trilogy of films spanning from 1958 to 1965. The original '50s film was popular enough to warrant two sequels, but the remake was an even bigger hit. To this day, the 1986 sci-fi-horror remains a cult classic and is one of David Cronenberg's most recognizable works.

The success of the remake prompted Fox to order a sequel. However, creative differences ultimately prevented the director from working on the subsequent project. Many feel that Cronenberg's lack of involvement was the reason why "The Fly 2" (1989) was received much more negatively than its predecessor.

"The Fly" (1986) stars Jeff Goldblum as Seth Brundle, a young scientist that creates a teleportation device which can transmit matter from one stationary pod to another by dissolving and reassembling it. This attracts the attention of a young journalist (Geena Davis) and the two fall in love. When he attempts to test his invention out on himself, a housefly sneaks into the pod with him and their DNA is melded together through the teleportation process. What follows is a grotesque transformation as the scientist slowly evolves into an unseemly hybrid creature he affectionately nicknames "The Brundlefly."

Cronenberg didn't want to do a remake

The sequel, titled "The Fly 2" (1989), did not have either of the main actors nor the original director attached. The film follows the life of the deceased couple's mutated son. The boy's aging process is grossly accelerated to the point where he matures to full adulthood by the age of 5. He takes over his father's old lab and returns to developing the teleportation device, but runs into trouble with his sinister old sponsor, Anton Bartok. Eventually, he learns about his father's fate and tries to prevent himself from suffering the same one.

This project was championed by Mel Brooks, a legendary actor-director known for mid-century satirical hits like "Blazing Saddles" (1974) and "Spaceballs" (1987). The comedian moved into producing later in his career, which included an uncredited role as producer on the first "The Fly" film.

Brooks was interested in creating a follow-up to the smash hit horror, but he and Cronenberg butted heads over their visions for the project. Cronenberg didn't care to do a straight-up remake, he told CinemaBlend. He did have particular idea for the sequel, but was shot down by Brooks, who was interested only in doing "more of the same." The director was "not interested" in doing a remake, and consequently Cronenberg was not attached to "The Fly 2" at all.

A Cronenberg sequel isn't off the table

Years later, an idea for revisiting the franchise was kicked around again. The "Videodrome" director wanted to explore some of the ideas from the original film using digital effects. "It wasn't really a remake, it was more of a sequel or a sidebar. It was a meditation on fly-ness," the filmmaker explained to IndieWire. Sadly, Fox would ultimately pass on this idea. This "sidebar" would have "an understanding of modern technology" that would supposedly update the original teleportation device. I'm not sure exactly what Cronenberg means by this, since I'm not aware of any developments in the science of teleportation, but what do I know?

The project was apparently put on hold due to a "budget problem." However, Cronenberg assured CinemaBlend that both he and Fox execs were equally intrigued by the idea. He also hinted that the franchise might "eventually" be revisited in the future. It doesn't look like Cronenberg's cult following is fading any time soon, and "The Fly" remains one of his most fondly remembered works. In an era where many a franchise is artlessly rehashed, it would be refreshing to see what such a distinctly creative director does with a beloved former project.