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Netflix buys adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Andy Serkis to direct

Contributed by
Aug 1, 2018

Netflix has bought the Farm. The streaming giant has acquired the rights to an adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, SYFY WIRE has confirmed.

Per Deadline, which first reported the news, Andy Serkis will direct the motion-capture film. Matt Reeves, Rafi Crohn, and Adam Kassan from 6th & Idaho will produce alongside Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish from The Imaginarium.

Orwell’s 1945 allegorical novella centers on a group of animals who rebel against the humans who own the farm and win their independence. The leaders of the revolution attempt to create a utopian society based on equality. But a pig named Napoleon corrupts the leaders' original intentions, systematically eliminates his rivals, brainwashes and gaslights the other animals living in the society, and enacts seven commandments, the basic of which declares that “all animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Although Animal Farm is based on the Russian Revolution and Stalin’s subsequent Soviet Union regime, Cavendish said in a statement that the plan is to adapt the story “in a thoroughly contemporary fashion, which will highlight the staggering relevance today of the satirical and dramatic power of Orwell’s re-imagined classic.” So, in no way is that creepy or depressing. 

Netflix clearly wants to be in the Andy Serkis-as-director business. The news comes days after the company announced it had purchased Serkis' directorial debut, Mowgli

Serkis added in the statement: “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 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.”

Serkis and Reeves previously worked together on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes.