Don Siegel’s The Beguiled was a bizarre melodrama with a misogynist — or feminist, depending on interpretation — bent. (As Slate points out, the director had noted that one of its key themes was “the basic desire of women to castrate men.) The Clint Eastwood-starring film was a relative domestic box office flop (though it was exceedingly well-received in France), and was allegedly plagued by confusion due to marketers trying to recall Eastwood’s Western cinematic past. (As James L. Neibaur explains in The Clint Eastwood Westerns, Eastwood only shoots someone once in a war flashback in the film, but in some posters he held a gun; meanwhile, the ad copy for the psychosexual drama teased, “One Man…Seven Women…in a Strange House!”) Now, despite or perhaps because of all of that, The Tracking Board has announced that this odd, gender politically weighty film is being remade by Sofia Coppola.
The original 1971 film, based on a 1966 novel, starred Eastwood as a wounded Yankee soldier in the Civil War, who takes shelter at a girls’ boarding school, where, once he’s healed, he begins seducing a number of the residents of the school, leading the women’s safe haven to become plagued by dangerously growing envy. Coppola — who recently quit Universal’s The Little Mermaid — is allegedly in talks with former collaborators Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning, as well as Nicole Kidman, to star in the film. Coppola is planning to write, direct and produce the adaptation — her first film since 2013’s The Bling Ring. (Though 2015’s A Very Murray Christmas was a…thing.)