Luca Guadagnino Discusses Suspiria Remake
Bigger Splash director on his Argento appropriation
Last we heard, back in 2012, David Gordon Green (Prince Avalanche, Joe) was attached to direct the controversial remake of Dario Argento's Suspiria. Just this week, however, the news has arrived that Green's iteration of the project is definitively off the table, with Luca Guadagnino now in the frame to deliver his own take. At Venice with his crime drama A Bigger Splash, Guadagnino shared some of his thoughts.
"The film by Dario Argento was a very indicative moment of growing up for me because I saw it when I was 14," the director tells Empire. "I think it changed me forever. I was obsessed [with Argento] through all my adolescence. [My version] is going to be set in Berlin in 1977. It’s going to be about the mother and the concept of motherhood and about the uncompromising force of motherhood. It’s going to be about finding your inner voice – the title is very evocative on these grounds."
Argento's 1977 original involves Jessica Harper's Suzy, who arrives in Freiburg to attend a renowned ballet academy, only to discover that it's a front for a powerful coven of witches. It marked the beginning of the director's Three Mothers trilogy, followed by Inferno (1980) and The Mother Of Tears (2007).
Guadagnino's version, he says, will be "very different. The movie by Dario Argento was maybe a child of its own times. It's very delicate; almost childish. I have a very strong interest in German literature and film, so I think [my] Suspiria will have to focus very strongly on that moment in history, in 1977, when Germany was divided and a new generation was claiming and asking to recognise the debt of guilt that forged the new Germany after the war against the fathers who wanted to deny the responsibility."
Locations and casting have yet to be worked out, but the director does clarify that the previously announced Isabelle Huppert and Isabelle Fuhrman are no longer linked to the project. "That was for a version by David Gordon Green," he says. "That’s not the case for me. I can’t say anything about the casting right now. I will announce very soon."
Guadagnino's A Bigger Splash, starring Dakota Johnson, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ralph Fiennes and a silent Tilda Swinton, plays at the BFI London Film Festival on October 9, and is out in the rest of the UK on February 12 next year.