'Animal Farm': Andy Serkis-directed adaptation of George Orwell's allegory acquired by Netflix
Netflix continues its drive for original content with the addition of 'Animal Farm' to its evergrowing library.
Netflix only recently acquired the distribution rights to Andy Serkis' 'Mowgli,' a mature adaptation of 'The Jungle Book,' but is doubling down on their faith in the 'Planet of the Apes' star by acquiring the rights to the actor's adaptation of George Orwell's 'Animal Farm.'
According to Deadline, Serkis will be directing it as a performance-capture film. 6th & Idaho’s Matt Reeves, Rafi Crohn, and Adam Kassan will produce with The Imaginarium’s Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish. Both Serkis and Cavendish have reportedly wanted to adapt the book into a film for years, with the project also reuniting Serkis with Reeves, with whom he worked for 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' and 'War for the Planet of the Apes.'
The allegorical novel was first published in 1945, with Orwell confessing that the book reflected the events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. Considered to be one of the greatest English-language novels of all-time, 'Animal Farm' follows a group of animals at a farm who decide to stage a rebellion against their human owners to win their independence.
After driving off the owners, they rename the property as 'Animal Farm' and adopt the Seven Commandments of Animalism, the most important of which is, "All animals are created equal." However, a pig named Napoleon decides to seize power, killing all those he accuses of consorting with rival Snowball and abridging the Seven Commandments to a single phrase: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
Serkis released a statement addressing the latest development which read: "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 reunited 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."
Reeves spoke highly of his co-producer and director, 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."
Cavendish revealed how they will approach the movie, suggesting that the intention was 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."
The addition of the movie sees Netflix continue its drive to add more original content to its libraries. The streaming giant recently committed $6 billion to finance 470 original TV shows and movies for its platform by the end of the year, and both 'Mowgli' and 'Animal Farm' should prove to be crowd-pullers. The former was picked up after Warner Bros. put the release on hold because of Disney releasing 'The Jungle Book' in 2016, and is expected to be available on Netflix, together with a 3D theatrical run, in 2019.