Unlike other studios that have been trying to figure out ways to re-adapt or remake William Golding’s 1954 novel The Lord of the Flies, New Regency is gearing up for a different version of the story. Deadline reports that the production company behind recent hits like The Revenant and Little Women has secured the rights to the story of "The Real Lord of the Flies" as outlined in an article for The Guardian earlier this month. In the article, an excerpt from the author's upcoming book Humankind, Rutger Bregman reveals the fascinating true tale of six young boys from Tonga that found themselves, like the boys in Golding's story, shipwrecked for over a year. Unlike the novel though, they worked together to survive and never sunk to the levels of cynical savagery at the heart of the initial text
"Lots of Hollywood studios suddenly wanted to buy the rights to the story of Sione, Luke, Mano, Tevita, Fatai and Kolo, the Tongan teenagers who survived for 15 months on an uninhabited island in 1965-66," Bregman wrote on Twitter. "A lot of studios approached me to sell the rights to the story, but it’s not my story of course. People in Tonga have been telling it to their children for generations. Problem: I didn’t have the contact details of Luke, Tevita, Fatai and Kolo. Luckily - with the help of their wonderful family members - we managed to connect with each other in just a couple of days."
Bregman confirmed that a Zoom call was held across 4 time zones with he and the surviving members at the heart of the story. Furthermore, the surviving four from the story and the sailor that found them have been brought on board as consultants for the movie with New Regency comitting to hire other Tongan consultants for the production as well
"So here we are. Finally, after 50 years, the survivors have reconnected and the world will hear their story," Bregman concluded. "Film studio New Regency has promised that they will do everything to strive for cultural authenticity and work as much as possible with local crew/ filmmakers."
One person whose attention was captured by the story is none other than New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi. Though the director said he'd likely be too busy to make the movie himself, he tweeted about it before saying: "Love this story. Personally, I think you should prioritize Polynesian (Tongan if possible!) filmmakers as to avoid cultural appropriation, misrepresentation, and to keep the Pasifika voice authentic. I'm probably not available lol."
(Cover photo by John Raymond Elliott/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)
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