Luca Guadagnino, director of current Venice Film Festival hit ‘A Bigger Splash,’ has been confirmed as the director of the long-mooted remake of acclaimed Italian horror ‘Suspiria.’
David Gordon Green, the American director who had been attached to the project for some time until his version fell apart (but remains on board as producer), hinted earlier this year that he had met with an Italian director about the film - and now, it seems, we know who that director was.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether Guadagnino’s nationality will make the remake any less controversial among fans of the 1977 original, often considered the crowning achievement of much-loved horror director Dario Argento.
Still, Guadagnino (pictured below with ‘A Bigger Splash’ stars Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes) tells Empire that the original has some personal significance to him.
“The film by Dario Argento was a very indicative moment of growing up for me because I saw it when I was 14. I think it changed me forever. I was obsessed [with Argento] through all my adolescence.”
Even so, Guadagnino intends to do something very different with Argento’s tale about a ballet student who transfers to a German school which she discovers is secretly home to a coven of evil witches.
“[My version] is going to be set in Berlin in 1977. It’s going to be about the mother and the concept of motherhood and about the uncompromising force of motherhood. It’s going to be about finding your inner voice – the title is very evocative on these grounds.“
Noted for its nightmarish atmosphere, Argento’s film has a dark fairy tale quality, but Guadagnino says his version will be “very different. The movie by Dario Argento was maybe a child of its own times. It’s very delicate; almost childish.
“I have a very strong interest in German literature and film, so I think [my] Suspiria will have to focus very strongly on that moment in history, in 1977, when Germany was divided and a new generation was claiming and asking to recognise the debt of guilt that forged the new Germany after the war against the fathers who wanted to deny the responsibility.”
The lead was taken by Jessica Harper in the original; Natalie Portman and Isabelle Fuhrman were attached respectively when David Gordon Green was set to direct, but Guadagnino confirms his version will be completely recast.
Guadagnino’s ‘A Bigger Splash’ has its UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in October, before going on general release in February 2016.
Picture Credit: Seda Spettacoli, WENN