Andy Serkis is going from snarky sentient symbiotes to anthropomorphic animated animals, as is the usual course for any good movie director. His follow up to Venom: Let There Be Carnage is an animated movie version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and production is already underway.
While Serkis is best known for his motion-capture CGI performances – including Gollum in Lord of the Rings, King Kong, and Caesar in Planet of the Apes – his directorial career has been much more eclectic. His first feature was the sentimental period film based on a true story starring Andrew Garfield called Breathe. He followed this up with Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle which came out two years after Disney’s live action Jungle Book movie.
George Orwell’s Animal Farm was published in 1945 and is an allegory of communist Russia, in which pigs stand in for its early leaders. Old Major is a combination of Marx and Lenin, Snowball is Trotsky and the villain of the piece – Napoleon – is Stalin.
The pigs have a revolution on their farm, boot out the human farmer and plan to run the farm as equals. However, in-fighting and Napoleon’s lust for power means that things break down, until the pigs become indistinguishable from man.
“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,” said Serkis. “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.”
The long-gestating film was previously headed to Netflix. Nicholas Stoller, the writer of Storks and Captain Underpants, has written the screenplay. In terms of acting, Serkis has recently been seen as Snoke in The Last Jedi, Ulysses Klaue in Black Panther, and Alfred in The Batman. He may be absent from our screens for some time, however, as directing an animated movie is no mean feat.
We’ll bring you more news on Animal Farm as we hear it.