Good old Andy Serkis - loves to pretend to be animals, doesn’t he? It’s normally apes and monkeys (both giant and regular-sized), but he’s also played weird goblin things as well (Gollum, remember him?). He likes films about animals so much that he even directed one based on The Jungle Book called Mowgli, and forced his mates to all dress up as animals too. Bloody loves the animal films, does Serkis.
But one film full of talking animals ain’t enough for Andy, oh no! He’s only gone and bloody got another one made, the card!
This one is based on Animal Farm, so instead of talking tigers and snakes, it’s going to be about talking pigs and cows. Netflix have picked up the adaptation of George Orwell’s classic allegorical 1945 novel, which will be produced through Serkis’ company The Imaginarium, as well as 6th and Idaho - Matt Reeves’ (of Cloverfield fame) production house.
Serkis, who has had the rights to Animal Farm since 2012, told Den Of Geek:
“We actually started working on it before I started directing Mowgli. It’s a difficult enough process to take an actor’s face and put it on an ape, but actually, how do you create a non-humanoid character and anthropomorphise that to a believable degree?
“Really read the emotion and intention of the actor, like Christian Bale playing a panther, or Benedict Cumberbatch playing a tiger. Really being able to see their faces.
“So the same will be with Animal Farm; we’re going to use performance capture, we’ve got a great cast lined up, and we’re just evolving the script. And boy, there couldn’t be a better time to make Animal Farm!”
There have already been two movie adaptions of the novel - an animated version in 1954 and a 1999 live-action version, starring weird animatronic puppets and Patrick Stewart - but this one is set to bring things up-to-date. Serkis said:
“With satire, you have to be so specific - it’s not Saturday Night Live, you know. It can’t be so topical that it’s out of date - it’s got to have a classic arc to it. It has to be its own thing, rather than being about Donald Trump or Theresa May.”
Is Animal Farm still relevant? We’ll see when it hits Netflix in… well, it’s gonna be in a long time, isn’t it? They’ve gotta go out and buy all the animal onesies first.