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Just about every time David Gordon Green (SNOW ANGELS, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS) speaks to press, his planned remake of SUSPIRIA becomes a major point of conversation. Today is no different, but thankfully yields an interesting, in-depth chat about his interest in revisiting Argento's classic, his ideas for Goblin's score and how BLACK SWAN affected his vision.
Speaking to Complex about the film, which he hopes, but doesn't actually know if he's directing next, Green revealed his script isn't a strictly faithful adaptation, calling it "the seed that SUSPIRIA planted in my head, rather than a shot-by-shot remake. It takes that tone and goes into a new place with it. We’ve got the rights to Goblin’s original music, which is a crucial thing that I can’t imagine—any version of that movie not having that Goblin score."
On the Goblin score, he wants to take it into symphonic realms: "I want it to evolve. I want to start it at exactly that same place, and take that symphony of synthesizers and evolve it to the opera version. It’d be real evolution from a girl getting off of a plane in Germany, and the kind of simplicity there, to the complex, fascinating, atmospheric horror of the ending, the climax with a far more evolved, sophisticated version of that score. I love the idea of getting someone like John Adams to come and compose the symphony version of it for the ending, something that’s out of left field but is truly just a blossom of the seeds that Goblin planted."
Green also hopes to skew younger with his cast and characters, citing how Darren Aronofsky's BLACK SWAN prompted him to switch it up. "Well, there’s a couple of things. One, 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. 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 not want to do what BLACK SWAN kind of did with the psychology and thriller elements of older characters. If anything, I want to focus on the younger, more naïve kinds of characters—the wide-eyed, Snow White version of the movie, rather than a more sophisticated, sexual version of it."
The director also maintains that despite his more youthful approach, the film intends to retain the stunning display of violence in the original SUSPIRIA, saying "You don’t want to soften that. It’s a pretty hardcore movie, so you don’t want to soften it up by making the little girl version of it. I do like the idea of young, impressionable characters—not strong, confident vixens, but young, impressionable, naïve witnesses to the occult."
Green is really talented as a filmmaker both with his recent forays into out-and-out comedy and his more devastating material in SNOW ANGELS. While it's very easily argued a remake is unnecessary, as he continues to talk about it, it's clear Green's passion for the film is very real. Hopefully it materializes into something successful and scary.
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