Recently Netflix acquired Mowgli (previously titled Jungle Book: Origins), a new adaptation of The Jungle Book directed by Andy Serkis, from Warner Brothers.
Now another Serkis project has been set up at Netflix. The streaming giant has acquired the rights to author George Orwell‘s 1945 allegorical novella Animal Farm, and Serkis will direct the adaptation.
Serkis re-unites with his Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves, who will produce with Rafi Crohn and Adam Kassan through Reeves’ 6th & Idaho. Serkis also produces, alongside Jonathan Cavendish, through his production company The Imaginarium.
Here’s a description of Animal Farm from Amazon:
George Orwell’s timeless and timely allegorical novel—a scathing satire on a downtrodden society’s blind march towards totalitarianism.
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned—a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible.
When Animal Farm was first published, Stalinist Russia was seen as its target. Today it is devastatingly clear that wherever and whenever freedom is attacked, under whatever banner, the cutting clarity and savage comedy of George Orwell’s masterpiece have a meaning and message still ferociously fresh.
Of the news Serkis had this to say:
“We are incredibly excited to have finally found the perfect creative home in Netflix for this extraordinarily zeitgeist work by George Orwell. 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.”
According to Cavendish, the plan is to adapt the story 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 also released a 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.”
Serkis and Cavendish have been working to make an Animal Farm adaptation a reality for years now, securing the rights back in 2012. At the time Serkis was also planning to play a role in the movie, though it’s not clear whether he still will or not.
Follow me on Twitter.