Imagine Entertainment Looks to Bring '1984' Back to the Big Screen
You might know Shepard Fairey as the street artist responsible for the Barack Obama "Hope" poster, or maybe you know him from Banksy's fantastic 2010 documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. But might he soon be known as Shepard Fairey, film producer? Fairey has teamed with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment to snag the rights to George Orwell's dystopian classic 1984 with sights set on a new film adaptation. Orwell's 1948 novel follows a middle-class worker who hopes to rebel against against an oppressive and paranoid society perpetually in a state of war and controlled by the faceless Big Brother.
THR reminds us that 1984 has been adapted a few times before, most recently in the actual year 1984 in a version starring John Hurt and Richard Burton. But the problem with making a fresh adaptation of this story is that Orwell's novel has had such a profound impact on society, science fiction, and culture in general that - much like John Carter - it will seem derivative even though it brought up many of these ideas in the first place. V For Vendetta, for example, is heavily influenced by Orwell's work, and coincidentally also starred John Hurt. Even if the filmmakers added a heavily futuristic spin to this story, it might just appear like a rip-off of the Christian Bale action film Equilibrium. Writers are being sought for as we speak, but it's a tough prospect to bring such an influential classic to the big screen - just ask Andrew Stanton.