A weary nation has a new headache on the horizon. Andy Serkis will be directing an animated adaptation of George Orwell’s classic work Animal Farm, and, Jesus, someone’s going to call it “too political,” aren’t they? Eyes can only take so much rolling!
Serkis is no stranger to animal-centric adaptations of classic works. A few years ago, he survived the CGI arms race between Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book and his harder-edged version of the same story, Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle. Hard to believe that a movie called The Jungle Book made nearly a billion dollars, and something called Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle was dumped on Netflix and buried by the algorithm. Apparently, no one was that interested in what Benedict Cumberbatch brought to Shere Khan.
After finding his directorial footing with the Venom sequel, Serkis is back with more animals and an animation studio that wants him to bring George Orwell’s soon-to-be banned book to the silver screen. Per Deadline, Serkis will direct Animal Farm with a script by Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors, Storks). Stoller also has some experience adapting classic works of literature, having written the screenplays for Gulliver’s Travels and Captain Underpants.
“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 said in a statement. “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.”
It’s unclear what kind of animated movie this will be, a Pixar-style CGI cartoon or a “photo-realistic” motion-captured thing, which made Serkis a household name. Founded in 2014, Aniventure is an animation studio that aims to create original features with “high production values.” Thus far, they’ve produced Riverdance: The Animated Adventure and the upcoming Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank. Finally, someone made a movie out of the legend of Hank.
Paws Of Fury comes out this summer and looks like a Kung Fu Panda. The trailer features some stylistic flourishes—though they’re getting points deducted for that “send a tweet” joke. Who is that for? No child cares about Twitter, and no adult wants to be reminded of Twitter when they’re spending time with their loved ones.
There’s no word yet as to when Animal Farm will be released, but we look forward to the culture war over Serkis making George Orwell’s Animal Farm “too political.”