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Here’s Why the Suspiria Remake Is a Bad Idea, According to Argento

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Written by John Squires

Released in 1977, Suspiria is widely considered to be the masterpiece of Italian filmmaker Dario Argento, and a remake has been on-again, off-again for several years now. As we learned back in March, Luca Guadagnino has found himself in the director’s chair for the project’s latest iteration, and all seems to be going smoothly. Last we heard, Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton have joined the cast.

But what does Dario Argento himself think about the Suspiria remake?

Speaking with Indiewire, Argento revealed that he hasn’t even been contacted about it.

I’ve been waiting for this project to come about for so many years,” he told the site. “The copyrights were bought about seven years ago. First, they belonged to 20th Century Fox, then they were handed over to some other companies, and so on. But what’s really absurd — really unbelievable — is that I have never, ever been asked about it. I mean, I never got a call or anything, asking me about casting, locations, whatever. I know nothing about this project except what I read in the papers. I repeat: I have ever, ever been asked about it.”

I might give some advice on the screenplay, the script, maybe the locations,” Argento added, when asked how he would like to contribute. “When I did the film, I did a lot of research with the location scout. I heard that this remake, if it’s ever made, will be shot again in Europe. So I might be able to provide useful advice about that. But, honestly, I do think it would be better if it wasn’t remade.”

The film has a specific mood,” he elaborated. “Either you do it exactly the same way — in which case, it’s not a remake, it’s a copy, which is pointless — or, you change things and make another movie. In that case, why call it Suspiria?

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Guadagnino recently revealed that his Suspiria will be set in Berlin, Germany in 1977, and he’s hoping to have John Adams work on the score. In addition, he mentioned that the remake will be the most “Fassbinderian” film he’s ever made – a reference to German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, whose work has obviously been a huge influence on Guadagnino.

Here are some other things Guadagnino recently said about the remake…

The film by Dario Argento was a very indicative moment of growing up for me because I saw it when I was 14. I think it changed me forever. I was obsessed [with Argento] through all my adolescence. [My version] is going to be set in Berlin in 1977. It’s going to be about the mother and the concept of motherhood and about the uncompromising force of motherhood. It’s going to be about finding your inner voice – the title is very evocative on these grounds.”

The movie by Dario Argento was maybe a child of its own times. It’s very delicate; almost childish. I have a very strong interest in German literature and film, so I think [my] Suspiria will have to focus very strongly on that moment in history, in 1977, when Germany was divided and a new generation was claiming and asking to recognize the debt of guilt that forged the new Germany after the war against the fathers who wanted to deny the responsibility.”

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