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George Orwell’s seminal literary work 1984 could be getting a new movie adaptation.
Imagine Entertainment, the production house run by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, and LBI Entertainment, the banner run by Julie Yorn, are teaming up to develop a new take on the 20th century classic.
The book is set in a dystopian society in a perpetual state of war, which in turn leads to a state of paranoia. Propaganda, surveillance, mind control and cult of personality — concepts seen in totalitarian and fascist states such as Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union — were taken to new levels in the book written in 1948 and published in 1949.
The story centers on Winston Smith, who works for a government branch called the Ministry of Truth, where he alters facts and histories but secretly harbors desires of rebellion (as well as desires of a forbidden love affair). The ideas in the novel became hugely influential in the worlds of politics and art, with the author’s name eventually becoming an adjective (Orwellian).
Shepard Fairey, the street artist perhaps best known for creating the Barack Obama “Hope” poster, was instrumental in bringing the project to Imagine and LBI and might take some sort of producer role once the deals shake out.
Imagine and Fairey were pursuing Orwell’s estate for the rights to 1984 and discovered that Yorn was simultaneously seeking the rights. The companies then decided to pair up.
The producers are out to writers to find a take on the material before setting it up at a studio.
The book has been adapted several times in TV and movies, the most recent being, natch, in 1984 in a version directed by Michael Radford and starring John Hurt, Richard Burton and Suzanna Hamilton.
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