J.D. Dillard is on a roll right now, and his first feature film, “Sleight,” hasn’t even been released yet.
“Sleight” (a 2016 Sundance Film Festival selection, which was picked up for distribution by WWE Studios and Blumhouse) is set for an April 28, 2017 theatrical release. Jacob Latimore stars in the sci-fi drama about a young street magician who is left to care for his little sister after their parents’ passing and turns to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads.
In addition, Blumhouse Productions, the company behind Jordan Peele’s smash horror film “Get Out,” announced earlier this year that it had put its horror movie-making muscle behind Dillard’s “Sleight” follow-up, a survival-horror movie titled “Sweetheart.” Plot details are being kept underwraps, but Kiersey Clemons is attached to star in the film, with production being fast-track for a Spring 2017 start date.
And announced today, Dillard is in negotiations to helm a remake of the iconic horror story, “The Fly,” which 20th Century Fox is developing.
Should negotiations end in a deal, Dillard would co-write the script with his writing partner Alex Theurer, as well as direct.
There have been 2 main “Fly” movies based on the short story by George Langelaan that was published in the June 1957 issue of Playboy magazine: First in 1958, directed by Kurt Neumann, with David Hedison, Patricia Owens, Vincent Price and Herbert Marshall starring (it was followed by 2 sequels: “Return of the Fly” and “Curse of the Fly”); and then again in 1986 (the more well-known of the two), directed by David Cronenberg, with Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis and John Getz starring (it was followed by 1 sequel, “The Fly II”).
The basic premise: a scientist mutates into a grotesque human fly after one accidentally flies into his transportation machine and mixes their atoms.
No casting possibilities on Dillard’s own adaptation of the short story and what he might bring to it, or do differently than what we’ve seen in past film adaptations; a black starring cast would noteworthy. But a deal still has to be struck with Fox.
Dillard’s feature debut, “Sleight,” opens April 28; he’s currently in pre-production on the Blumhouse-backed “Sweetheart” with Kiersey Clemons.
Dillard and Theurer are both repped by CAA, Circle of Confusion, and attorney Lev Ginsburg.
The news was first reported by Deadline.
Below is a trailer for the 1986 film, which is unquestionably a cult classic: