Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake “goes in different directions.”

There are beloved films, classic films, and legendary films. Anytime a filmmaker adapts a movie from one of these three categories they’re aware their work is subject to intensive scrutiny. But when tackling a picture that has achieved legendary status, the filmmaker is forced to justify why they’re even messing with perfection in the first place. Few films from any era embody their genre like Dario Argento’s 1977 cult masterpiece, Suspiria so when it was announced that Amazon Studios was commissioning a remake of the Italian classic, the internet’s collective reaction was, “What for?”

In a recent interview with Allocine, Tilda Swinton dropped a nugget of information that may alleviate Suspiria fans’ frustrations. According to Swinton (by way of Google Translate), 2018 Suspiria is another version instead of a remake.

Dario Argento’s film, and it’s impossible to remake this film. But if I accepted, it’s because it will be a completely different movie! It’s inspired by the same story, but it goes in different directions, it explores other reasons. It’s semantics, of course, but I think people really have to understand that this is not a remake, because the word “remake” gives the impression that we want to erase the original, and the opposite is what we try to do.

Hollywood has a penchant for taking beloved franchises like Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series and reshaping them until they bear little resemblance to their source material. It sounds like screenwriters could save themselves plenty of backlash by describing their adaptations as companion pieces or thematic successors before they mangle the source material.

Regardless how they choose to adapt Suspiria, Amazon could do a lot worse than having Luca Guadagnino behind the camera. He’s a talented filmmaker on the rise, he’s currently dominating the festival circuit, and he appears to have a sincere appreciation for the source material. Guadagnino has an exceptional command of tone and can shift the vibe of a scene in an instant, which is a useful skill to have in the horror/thriller/suspense genre.

There are even more reasons to remain optimistic about the Suspiria “re-imagining.” First off, there is the talented cast that unites Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash alum, Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson with Mia Goth (A Cure for Wellness), Jessica Harper (Suspiria 1977), and Chloë Grace Moretz (I Love You, Daddy). Additionally, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke is handling the score.

Suspiria is tentatively scheduled for a 2018 release. Here’s the film’s official synopsis on IMDb:

A young American ballerina comes to train at a prestigious German dance academy and uncovers the school’s dark and menacing secrets.

 

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