Exclusive: The Fly Remake With Zendaya As Lead In The Works, Director Attached

A new version of The Fly will star Zendaya and be directed by J.D. Dillard.

By Nathan Kamal | Updated

The Fly (1958)

A new remake of the classic science fiction horror film The Fly is in development at 20th Century Studios, with Zendaya set to play the lead character. According to our trusted and proven sources, the Marvel star will play a scientist transformed into a monstrous insect-human hybrid through risky experimentation, though it is unclear whether the movie will be a continuation of previous versions of the story in any way. Director J. D. Dillard is attached to direct the film.

This new version of The Fly starring Zendaya would be the first movie based on the iconic science fiction property in decades, and the sixth film to be loosely adapted from George Langelaan’s 1957 short story. The first version was released in 1958 and starred horror legend Vincent Price, and was followed by two lesser-known sequels. It was remade in 1986 by director David Cronenberg and starred Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis; that version is considered a landmark of body horror and practical special effects for Goldblum’s terrifying, disgusting transformation into a humanoid fly.

Jeff Goldblum in The Fly (1986)

A new remake of The Fly is an interesting choice for Zendaya, who is most famous for her role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Michelle Jones-Watson alongside Tom Holland’s Peter Parker and for starring in the controversial but massively popular HBO series Euphoria. The Fly is one of the most iconic science fiction monster stories, with the transformed scientist standing alongside Frankenstein and Dracula as modern avatars of horror. 

Zendaya is not particularly known for her work in horror films, so this could be a sign that the actress is looking to branch out into a new genre. This new version of The Fly will also be the first version of the story to star a woman as the scientist who risks becoming something unspeakable in the name of teleportation research, which is a certain kind of step forward. 

The Fly will also be Zendaya’s first time working with J.D. Dillard, who is best known for the 2022 biopic war film Devotion, which starred fellow Marvel star Jonathan Majors and Top Gun: Maverick’s Glen Powell. In recent years, Dillard has been developing a new Rocketeer project for Disney, but appears to have abandoned that project.

However, directing a new version of The Fly with Zendaya in the lead is a pretty huge step up for any filmmaker. In the meantime, Zendaya will be starring in Dune: Part Two, the sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s science fiction epic, alongside Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Christopher Walken, Florence Pugh, and Austin Butler. She will also be starring in Challengers, a new sports drama by director Luca Guadagnino, in which she will play part of a trio of wildly competitive tennis players. 

We can also expect that Zendaya will return to Marvel for the recently confirmed Spider-Man 4, and may appear in any number of upcoming MCU crossover events like Avengers: Secret Wars and The Kang Dynasty before she becomes a hideous fly monstrosity.