Netflix Acquires George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Andy Serkis To Direct

It looks like Netflix is getting into the Andy Serkis business. On the heels of reports earlier this week that the streaming service acquired the filmmaker’s latest Warner Bros.-produced joint, Mowgli, Deadline is reporting that they have also acquired the rights to Animal Farm and that Andy Serkis will be at the helm.

The film will obviously be based on the George Orwell novel, and in a fitting move, Serkis’ take will be a performance capture piece. Set to produce is War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves, who worked with Serkis on the previous two Apes films, and whose production company had recently signed an overall deal with the streaming service. Also producing is Jonathan Cavendish.

Animal Farm tells the allegorical story of the Russian revolution, except instead of people, Orwell had animals playing out the roles of Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, and the like. It followed a group of animals who chased out their human captors and established a government based on the idea that all animals were equal. Of course, it didn’t take long for the smarter pigs to think themselves above others, and you have the main conflict. What resulted was a surprisingly strong piece of narrative that has held up for decades and, in my opinion, stands up better than his other political effort, 1984 — at least as a story.

This is a film Serkis and Cavendish have been wanting to make for years, and even as far back as 2012, their Imaginarium production company made a rights deal with the George Orwell Estate.

RELATED – Netflix Nabs Rights To Andy Serkis’ Mowgli

“We are incredibly excited to have finally found the perfect creative home in Netflix for this extraordinarily zeitgeist work by George Orwell,” Serkis said in a statement. “On top of that, to be re-united with my great friend Matt Reeves — with his acute sensitivity, storytelling intelligence and honesty and command in this realm — is to have the very best scenario for our long-held passion to bring this fable alive.”

Cavendish embellished on their approach to this film, saying they intend to bring “Animal Farm to the screen in a thoroughly contemporary fashion, which will highlight the staggering relevance today of the satirical and dramatic power of Orwell’s re-imagined classic.”

Reeves made his own statement, saying:

“Andy is such an incredible artist — he is truly a force of nature and a beautiful soul. To be able to work with him again and with Jonathan and Netflix to see Orwell’s classic tale brought to life in a totally new and exciting way is an absolute dream.”

All of a sudden, I’m feeling a lot more optimistic about that Mowgli acquisition. Maybe that film looks better than we give it credit for, or perhaps it was more of a good faith acquisition so they could lock down Serkis for this project. Regardless, I’m excited to see this come to fruition. What about you? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: Deadline

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