Andy Serkis’ adaptation of Animal Farm has been in the works for a while. We first reported on the movie way back in 2012, and now it looks like it’s finally going to come to fruition. Deadline reports that Netflix has acquired the rights to Serkis mo-cap adaptation with his Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves on board to produce.
For those unfamiliar with George Orwell’s 1945 novel, here’s Deadline’s description:
“The premise involves a group of animals who rebel against the humans who own the farm, and win their independence. The architects of the revolution create a utopian environment based on equality, but a pig named Napoleon twists the original intent, slowly eliminates his rivals and enacts seven commandments, the basic of which declares that “all animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Animal Farm will mark the second collaboration between Serkis and Netflix after last week’s surprising news that Mowgli, which had been developed for Warner Bros., would be released next year on the streaming giant.
“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.”
No casting has been announced yet, but I imagine this will be an exciting project for actors, especially given the political subtext and relevancy. If Serkis can put together an A-list cast for a Jungle Book adaptation, he should be able to do it here. The question remains how “contemporary” Serkis plans to make the story even though there’s a (depressingly) timeless quality to Orwell’s novel.