With his work on Venom: Let There Be Carnage and recent acting gigs in the likes of The Batman in the can, Andy Serkis has carved out the time he needs – and found the support required – to finally kick off directing a long-gestating project: Animal Farm.
George Orwell's 1945 allegorical novella drew from the Russian revolution of 1917 and the Stalinist regime. It involves a group of animals who rebel against the humans who own their farm and win their independence.
Though the architects of the revolution create a utopian environment based on equality, a pig named Napoleon twists the original intent, slowly eliminates his rivals and enacts seven commandments the most basic of which declares that, "all animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
Orwell’s tome has been adapted at least three times for the screen, but Serkis, who has been aiming to get this one made since at 2012, believes he's found a new way into it. “We’re keeping it fable-istic and aimed at a family audience. We are not going to handle the politics in a heavy-handed fashion,” he told The Hollywood Reporter back then. "It is going to be emotionally centered in a way that I don’t think has been seen before. The point of view that we take will be slightly different to how it is normally portrayed and the characters, We are examining this in a new light."The Muppets' Nicholas Stoller wrote the script.
It was bought by Netflix in 2018, but there has been little news of it since then and the streaming service is not mentioned in the new statement. Instead, this will be a co-production of Serkis' Imaginarium company, 'toon team Aniventure and animation/VFX experts Cinesite.
"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," Serkis says. "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." No word yet on when this'll see screens, but we're glad the director will finally get to go whole hog on the movie.