Just last week we learned that Warner Bros. was selling off Andy Serkis' Mowgli to Netflix, a move that left many film fans with mixed emotions: on the one hand, surely a VFX extravaganza directed by Andy Serkis deserved to be seen on the biggest screens possible; on the other hand - hey, if WB didn't want it, better to hand it over to someone who does. Not an ideal situation, to be sure, but definitely better than watching a studio bury what appeared to be a very personal, very dark, very ambitious project from one of Hollywood's most talented creatives.
Now it appears the Mowgli situation may have led to an unexpected bonus: according to Deadline, Netflix just snapped up the rights to George Orwell's Animal Farm, and they've hired Serkis to direct, with Matthew Reeves producing.
Now that is seriously exciting.
For those unfamiliar with Orwell's Animal Farm, Deadline's got a brief synopsis:
"Orwell’s allegorical novella was published in 1945, and the author said it was informed by the Russian revolution of 1917 and the subsequent Stalinist regime of the Soviet Union. If you didn’t read it in school, the premise involves a group of animals who rebel against the humans who own their farm and win their independence. The architects of the revolution create a utopian environment based on equality, but a pig named Napoleon twists the original intent, slowly eliminates his rivals and enacts seven commandments — the basic of which declares that “all animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
As you might expect, given Serkis' involvement, this version of Animal Farm will be a motion-captured joint, with human actors portraying the sprawling cast of animal characters (you probably don't need to be told why Reeves and Serkis will knock this particular job out of the park).
Nothing further to report at this time, but we're excited about this one, and will be keeping our ear to the ground for further updates. Stay tuned.