Andy Serkis To Direct Animated Adaptation Of George Orwell Classic ‘Animal Farm’

Andy Serkis is stepping behind the camera to direct an animated adaptation of George Orwell‘s classic novella Animal Farm. Production is underway at Cinesite, with Aniventure and Serkis’ company The Imaginarium developing the project.

The dystopian fable was first published in 1945 and focuses on a group of farm animals who rebel against their human owner in hopes of creating a society where they can be equal, free and happy. But the farm ends up being as bad as it was before once it becomes a dictatorship run by a pig named Napoleon.

The book is a classic, and was named one of the 100 best English-language novels between 1923 to 2005 by Time Magazine. It’s been adapted for film, TV, radio, and the stage many times.

This version has been written by Nicholas Stoller (Captain Underpants). The project has been gestating for a while, as Serkis has long been wanting to make it. At one point it was set up at Netflix. He will produce with Adam Nagle, Dave Rosenbaum, and Jonathan Cavendish. Serkis said in a statement:

“The challenging journey to bring this extraordinary story to the screen has been finally rewarded by the opportunity to partner with the brilliant team at Aniventure and Cinesite. Together we hope to make our version of Orwell’s ever relevant masterpiece, emotionally powerful, humorous, and relatable for all ages. A tale not only for our times, but for generations to come.”

Nagle added: “Ever since 1945, when George Orwell first published Animal Farm, the story has remained relevant and a key instrument in understanding how the world works. Andy has had a special talent for creating unique and memorable characters during his remarkable career and we’re thrilled to be working with him, Jonathan and Cinesite to adapt Animal Farm for modern audiences.”

While Serkis is best known for his motion capture performances as Gollum in The Lord Of The Rings and as King Kong in Peter Jackson‘s 2005 film, in recent years he’s shifted behind the camera into the director’s chair. In 2017 he helmed Robin Cavendish biopic Breathe, and last year directed Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

Animal Farm will sadly always remain relevant, so there likely won’t be much Serkis and co. have to change in their adaptation. Imaginarium Studios, which specializes in performance capture, are also currently working on upcoming fantasy adaptation Half Bad for Netflix, and Death And Nightingales for the BBC.


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