It’s been three years since a proper feature from the inimitable Sofia Coppola has been released in theaters, unless you count her Netflix special, A Very Murray Christmas, which featured Bill Murray mingling with the likes of Miley Cyrus, George Clooney, and Amy Poehler. The Christmas special was a minor treat but didn’t reach the sublime heights of Coppola’s five near-flawless features thus far, with 2013’s The Bling Ring being her last major work. For a minute there, she was attached to a live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, which had nothing but immense promise, but that has since fizzled out, due to what sounded like creative differences.
But fear not, fans of ethereal female-led dramas, as today brings news from Tracking Board and Variety that Coppola will be writing and directing a remake of Don Siegel‘s The Beguiled, a strange but similarly promising project for the Lost in Translation helmer. The original film starred Clint Eastwood as a lost and injured Yankee soldier at the end of the Civil War who stirs up quite a lot of trouble at an all-girl boarding school in Louisiana. It’s no fair ruining what exactly goes on, but it’s enough to say that Eastwood’s solider unleashes torrents of repressed sexuality, jealousy, and confusion in the women of the school, both on staff and in the dormitories.
Considering Coppola’s fascination with the sexual politics of young women and Freudian psychology, the film is prime real estate for the filmmaker. Whereas The Bling Ring considered the glamorous trappings of wealth, Coppola’s first film, an adaptation of The Virgin Suicides, covered similar ground as The Beguiled, though with far less violent undercurrents than Siegel’s film. As the filmmaker continues to grown and explore new avenues of expressing her personal philosophies and artistic temperament, The Beguiled remake could prove to be a crucial turn into studying physical pain as strong and unavoidable as the psychological hurt she’s mapped so thoroughly in the past.