Andy Serkis – better known to a general audience as Smeagol, Gollum, King Kong and the leading primate in Rise of the Planet of the Apes – has revealed that he plans to direct a new version of Animal Farm.

The behind-the-scenes actor has recently opened his own London-based performance-capture studio called The Imaginarium, and whishes to make the George Orwell classic his first full length feature as a director. Andy Serkis has gained some momentum since working as a second-unit director on The Hobbit, where he gained about 200 days of experience.

Animal Farm follows the story of Napoleon, a power hungry bovine that leads a barnyard coup against its’ owner. The short novel is actually an allegory mirroring the events that led to Joseph Stalin‘s rise to power and subsequent totalitarian rule. Andy Serkis has stated in a recent interview that he wishes to move away from the political side and make it more family friendly.

“We’re keeping it fable-istic and [aimed at] a family audience,” he says. “We are not going to handle the politics in a heavy-handed fashion. It is going to be emotionally centred in a way that I don’t think has been seen before.”

How Andy Serkis plans on eliminating the politics behind Animal Farm and still maintaining it as “fable-istic” remains to be seen. The principal actors, budget, production schedule is still only in its infancy as Serkis is still working on character development and story premise.

“At the moment I’m very fixed on the creation of the characters and world from a directorial point of view,” he says.

Audiences can be sure to see a bit of Andy Serkis’s work both in front of and behind the camera. The trick is being able to spot it. However, if Serkis has taken any cues from Peter Jackson in terms of storytelling and world creating, we’re sure Animal Farm will be a success. No matter how he spins it.

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