David Gordon Green is redirecting his remake of Dario Argento's 1977 cult hit "Suspiria" to avoid similarities with Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan," which starred Natalie Portman as a ballet dancer.
Hoping to take the directing reins for the project soon, Green ("The Pineapple Express") plans to add some new twists to Argento's hypnotic supernatural tale. The film centered on Suzy Banyon, an American dance student enrolled in a German academy serving as a front for the murderous activities of Mater Suspiriorum, a powerful witch.
"I was actually going to make 'Suspiria' with Natalie [Portman] a few years ago, but ended up pushing it to do 'Your Highness,' and once she stepped into 'Black Swan' it definitely made me not want to do what I originally had in mind; I didn’t want to make the Natalie version anymore," Green said in an interview with Complex. "So I re-envisioned it. My version of 'Suspiria' doesn’t have anything to do with ballet at all; it’s an all girls’ boarding school that doesn’t have the dance element; so there’s no real conflict there.
"It did inspire me to think, 'Well, I want to go younger now. I want this to be about 14, 15-year-old girls, rather than women who are Natalie’s age.' It made me not want to do what 'Black Swan' kind of did with the psychology and thriller elements of older characters."
However, the remake will seek to maintain the original's nightmarish vibe, according to Green.
"To me, what I love about it ... I love the original, but the movie that I’ve written based on that is just very much influenced by that," he explained. "I think the idea of an isolated setting with a young, naïve girl stuck in the isolated setting is just a field day for what I find to be scary. It’s me responding horrifically to that movie; I was really terrified by that movie.
"My take is somewhat different from what Argento’s movie is, and it’s really me seeing what I have to offer that genre."
The remake will be produced by Italian director Luca Guadagnino ("The Protagonists") under the First Sun production banner.
See more of Green's interview at Complex.
See our commentary on the remake here.
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