Jeff Goldblum Classic Movie Voted #1 In Iconic Director’s Whole Filmography

Jeff Goldblum and Mel Brooks were major parts of David Cronenberg's The Fly.

By Kevin C. Neece | Updated

Jeff Goldblum in The Fly (1986)

Jeff Goldblum’s breakout success The Fly, as Mel Brooks has shared, has been ranked the best in director David Cronenberg’s filmography by Variety. We, of course, included the film among Goldblum’s must-see movies, and rightly so as it has stood the test of time and risen to the top of the list of Cronenberg’s legendary catalog. While many people might not remember that Brooks’ production company, Brooksfilms, was responsible for the horror remake that has become a classic in its own right, the comedy legend—whose History of the World, Part II series is out now—reminded everyone recently on Twitter.

While this particular connection between Jeff Goldblum and Mel Brooks might not be as well known, The Fly certainly is, and Variety placed it all the way at number one in their ranking of Cronenberg’s films, which include such well-regarded and horrifying classics as Scanners, Videodrome, and The Dead Zone. Long known as a master of horror, Cronenberg’s unique vision for the 1986 version of The Fly was an update of a 1958 Vincent Price film that saw its protagonist slowly turned into the titular winged insect. While its 1989 sequel, The Fly II, directed by Chris Walas and starring Eric Stoltz, did not fare as well, the ’80s version has not only remained well regarded but has even inspired a remake of its own, which is currently in development at 20th Century Studios with Euphoria star Zendaya attached.

Jeff Goldblum was not nearly the star she is when he took the starring role in The Fly, but it skyrocketed his career. While Mel Brooks and company could not replicate their success with the sequel, Zendaya‘s star power alone now has the potential to propel a third iteration of the entomological horror classic to success, a reversal from the film making its lead actor a star. The Zendaya-led version would be the sixth film at least loosely based on a single 1957 short story by George Langelaan, a feat its author likely could never have envisioned beyond its success with Price the following year.

jeff goldblum the fly
Jeff Goldblum in The Fly (1986)

For their part, of course, Jeff Goldblum and Mel Brooks have each had their own storied careers. Goldblum’s role in The Fly helped launch him to even greater successes, including his role as Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park less than a decade later—a role he has since reprised in three sequels. Brooksfilms has not exactly made its name in horror, but Mel Brooks was already a powerhouse name in comedic cinema in 1986, having directed such mainstays as Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, and History of the World, Part I. Even still, the writer, director, producer, and actor found more success the next year with Spaceballs and later with Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and served as writer, executive producer, and narrator of the current History of the World, Part II series at the age of 96.

Cronenberg, for his part, is also an actor with a role in The Fly and was most recently seen as Kovich in Star Trek: Discovery. With all of his successes behind and in front of the camera, it’s fascinating to see his career exemplified by a collaboration between Jeff Goldblum, Mel Brooks, Vincent Price, and an insect. Somehow it seems fitting for the director’s weird and wonderful style.