’1984′ Adaptation from Shepard Fairey in the Works

Published 2 years ago by

194 movie adaptation 1984 Adaptation from Shepard Fairey in the Works

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.

john hurt 1984 movie 1984 Adaptation from Shepard Fairey in the Works

John Hurt as Winston Smith in a previous film adaptation of '1984'

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.

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Source: THR

TAGS: 1984

14 Comments

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  1. With your headline, this just begs for a political quip, but I’ll refrain, with the exception of this…if his adaptation of 1984 goes the way of his “Hope” poster, the movie will be a miserable failure, possibly bankrupting the studio in the process.

  2. WOW!!! Next Leni Riefenstahl’s movie on Hitler.

    • Apples to oranges…”1984″ railed AGAINST totalitarianism; LR’s crap SUPPORTED it…at least Hitler’s version of it. These are two completely different approaches and views.

      • Have you even watched Triumph of the Will? Calling it ‘crap’ is like saying Birth of a Nation is ‘garbage’ because it was racist. Just because a film might not contain the most appealing subject matter doesn’t make it any less important historically. It’s obtuse of you to generalize a film so simplistically.

        • Actually YES, I have watched it…several times in fact. I own it as well as a couple of other controversial films AND books (Have YOU read MEIN KAMPF? I have). In terms of production values and quality of filmmaking, as a whole, both it and “Birth of a Nation” are quite well done…better than some modern/current productions, truth be told). In terms of content and production purpose, both are DEFINITELY crap. Crap that should be understood and appreciated in an historical context, yes, but CRAP, nonetheless.

          I was being neither obtuse nor simplistic in my above response; I WAS responding to the point GJP had implicitly made (whether jokingly or not) about the choice and interpretation of given unpleasant subject matter, NOT production values.

          Anything else you’d like to spout off incorrectly about?

          • “…both it and ‘Birth of a Nation’ are quite well done…” followed by “…both are DEFINITELY crap”

            Beyond the fact that I won’t be responding any further since you’re unsure of your own opinion (are they well done or are they crap?), I think you should choose your wording better. I think a lot of the portions of The Bible that demean women and call for extreme punishment against them for menial crimes are awful, but I don’t find the Bible to be ‘crap’. It’s an important historical document that teaches us something. Similar to the Nazi propaganda films, I may not agree with the intent, the films themselves are important historical documents and far from ‘crap’ as you so eloquently described your opinion.

            Now if you had merely said “I personally find the films disgusting” instead of a generic statement describing something as objectively ‘crap’ when it is in fact subjective to each viewer (unless in terms of historical value in which they are objectively far from ‘crap’).

            • Ferdinand…

              Not a problem if you don’t respond…after your last bit of silliness, I find I cannot respect your opinion anyway.

              You might want to practice your reading skills: The quotations of my words for some odd reason SKIP the very difference you missed. My words were quite clear; your understanding, alas, was not.

              To wit: The WAY the films were put together was skillful and effective (they WERE, after all, propaganda films). Their subject matter, however, was detestable. While they are both fascinating and necessary historical resources, they still represent the lowest level of human existence. THAT makes them crap.

              It saddens (or is that bemuses?) me that you do not understand the difference. C’est la vie.

  3. The novel was excellent and hit so many right notes (sadly), and the previous film adaptation was effectively sinister and gray. I am very much looking forward to this new, modern interpretation. As for “Animal Farm” with Andy Serkis…BRING IT ON!

  4. Due to Shepherd Fairey’s political likes, I have low hopes for this movie.

    He does not grasp how the person he helped get elected has pushed Orwell’s warning of what a surveillance state will look like closer into reality than ever before.

    The use of “nonspeak” by both political parties in the US too is something that the artist just fails to grasp in any interviews.

    • You are accurate in your comment. As what happens with many ideologues, however, this one is also unlikely to see his own hypocracy, or perhaps worse, he does not even care, since people in line with his way of thinking hold the “power” now.

    • Three letters: TSA.

  5. I think now would be a prefect time to release this movie. I think it would hit home to many people and remind them (as many, many of us have read 1984 in high school) just how far we’ve come to be an Orwellian culture.

    But I agree as well. The artist seems a bit hypocritical in wanting to make this movie after creating the (in)famous poster.

    Maybe he had a change of heart or he just made the poster at someone’s request regardless of his political stance.

    So, I guess it’s hypocrisy or repentance that he’s taking this on. Or it could be the almighty dollar.

  6. Can’t see how they’d improve on the John Hurt/Richard Burton version, and the fact is that Orwell’s novel was a satire of post-WWII England, not a vision of the future at all. So the real issue becomes: does a graphic designer and illustrator with no experience of movie production have the necessary skills to oversee a faithful adaptation of the book, or will it be somehow updated to include the current global political climate, computer technology and everything that those things entail? At which point it parts company with Orwell in everything but theme.

  7. Don’t be surprised if something awesome comes out of this odd combination. Shepard is a talented artist and might bring something new to the table that we haven’t seen yet. -Mear One needs to make a movie.

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