Mere days after Netflix bought Andy Serkis' Jungle Book reimagining Mowgli from Warner Bros, the streaming giant is staying in business with Serkis and has picked up his adaptation of Animal Farm. Based on George Orwell's classic book of the same name, Serkis will direct the new film and is expected to take on multiple motion-performance roles.
Andy Serkis issued a brief statement and was thrilled that his dream project was finally happening.
“We are incredibly excited to have finally found the perfect creative home in Netflix for this extraordinary zeitgeist work by George Orwell. On top of that, to be reunited with my great friend Matt Reeves (Dawn, War for the Planet of the Apes)— with his acute sensitivity, storytelling intelligence and honesty and command in this realm — is to have the very best scenario for our long-held passion to bring this fable alive.”
Serkis has been working on a live-action Animal Farm since 2012, and it was initially intended to be his feature film directorial debut. A variety of obstacles, including being the second unit director on The Hobbit trilogy, prevented that from happening and Serkis turned his attention to an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.
While it was always envisioned as a darker more faithful take on Kipling's classic, Disney's live-action Jungle Book from Jon Favreau caused Warner Bros to delay the release of Mowgli more than once. Following the trailer that arrived a couple of months ago, Mowgli was due to hit cinemas on October 19, that's no longer the case as Netflix are planning to release the film early next year. In a separate interview, Serkis revealed that a 3D theatrical release could still be on the cards.
“I’m really excited about Netflix for Mowgli. Now, we avoid comparisons to the other movie and it’s a relief not to have the pressure. I’ve seen the 3D version, and it’s exceptional, a different view from the 2D version, really lush and with great depth, and there will be some kind of theatrical component for that…This way of going allows us to get the film out without compromise.”
Animal Farm is expected to arrive on Netflix in late 2019.