A 3D artist just released his own take on Jeff Goldblum's transformation in The Fly, and it's as gruesome as any version you'll see. David Cronenberg's 1986 remake of the 1958 original, loosely based on a 1957 short story, won over critics and audiences alike as Dr. Seth Brundle (Goldblum) fell victim to his own teleportation experiment and slowly mutated into a nightmarish human/fly hybrid. A reboot of The Fly is now in development at 20th Century Fox, which J.D. Dillard (Sleight) attached to direct.
Cronenberg's version of The Fly may technically be a remake, but the director made the story wholly his. It's a celebration of Cronenberg's flair for the unflinchingly grotesque and is buoyed by Goldblum's great performance. It remains to be seen if the next Fly remake will live up to that same legacy, but a 3D artist's personal take on Dr. Brundle's transformation shows what could be possible with a modernized version of the classic story.
As you can see at Dread Central, the artist known as Stormbrush created his own rendering of Dr. Brundle as he slowly transforms into the fly-like creature. His design shows Dr. Brundle at seven different stages, starting normally then ending up fully transformed into the human/fly hybrid. He also released a GIF showing each stage of the transformation and a full-body rendering of the fully-transformed creature.
Stormbrush, who also goes by "Calvin" on his website, described most of the transformational stages in detail and explained the way he approached the designs, which he termed a "personal project".
"The challenge to design this monster is that it is crossing species quite drastically, and you get to see the development. It starts from flesh and skin infection to deformation, and then slowly the parasite reveal itself, and it is taking control of the host. Stage 4 and stage 5 is the biggest challenge and the most fun part, because it is at its turning point, that you want audience terrified but also sympathize with Brundle. At this stage the percentage of how much human feature being revealed is critical. The full body Brundle fly use the basic structure and poses of an insect, but with distorted and infected flesh, cross over with insect patterns, hairs and leg parts. The middle legs only revealed at the end of the transformation, which affects the pose and walk cycle, making it completely non-human.”
This modernized 3D rendering of The Fly is so impressively detailed - and appropriately repulsive - that it wouldn't appear out-of-place as an actual concept for the upcoming reboot. He also stayed true to Cronenberg's version of the movie by sympathizing with Dr. Brundle as he was creating the character's transformation. The designs give a glimpse into what the next version of The Fly could look like, and the possibilities are perfectly disgusting.
Ultimately, if Dillard's take on The Fly wants to even approach the standard set by Cronenberg, then it will have to flesh out (no pun intended) the characters as much as it will have to develop the makeup and effects. Goldblum's horrific transformation was only half the story, as the other half lied in its resonant human tragedy. If the remake can be as revolting as these designs look and be as compelling as Cronenberg's version, then the next remake will have great potential.
Twentieth Century Fox's reboot of The Fly is currently in development with no release date. We'll keep you updated as more news comes in.