George Orwell’s trend-setting dystopian society novel, 1984 is being brought to the big screen again. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment production house is helping to co-develop the project, alongside Julie Yorn’s LBI Entertainment banner (We Bought a Zoo).
This new 1984 film adaptation is (appropriately) being spearheaded by counter-cultural American graphic designer and street artist Shepard Fairey, who is perhaps best known for creating the iconic Barack Obama “HOPE” poster used during the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
Orwell’s 1984 (a.k.a. Nineteen Eighty-Four) novel concerns an everyman named Winston Smith, who eventually rallies against the government he has long served – one which thrives on restricting creativity, reconstructing facts to better serve its nefarious purposes, and maintaining a state of paranoia by keeping the populace under constant surveillance.
Such widely-recognized terminology like “cult of personality,” “Big Brother” and “thoughtcrimes” were either coined by or became in vogue thanks to Orwell’s source material. The novel gave rise to the adjective “Orwellian,” as a shorthand for identifying certain forms of totalitarian behavior and social design.
Heat Vision says that Fairey will most likely serve as a producer on this new cinematic adaptation of Orwell’s work (which was published in 1949), alongside Yorn and Imagine heads. Their tentative plan is to attach some writing talent to the project before setting it up at a studio for production.
1984 is generally considered not only one of the more important novels of the late 20th century, but one that remains as relevant today (especially in the age of the Internet) as when it was first released over 60 years ago. Suffice it to say, a modern film adaptation could easily capture the zeitgeist of these times, even better than Orwell’s original work already does.
Fairey’s project isn’t the only new adaptation of Orwell’s literature in the works either, as Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt and motion-capture aficionado Andy Serkis are also planning a new film based on the author’s Animal Farm. Hence, we could potentially have two promising Orwell adaptations on the way.
Given the high-pedigree of the source material (and the personnel already onboard), this new 1984 movie shouldn’t struggle too much to attract the interest of some noteworthy writing, directing, and acting talent. Naturally, we will strive to keep you up-to-date on the project’s status as more information is released.