George Orwell’s 1984 is regular reading in schools around the world, and now it looks like lazy students may have another alternative to Cliff’s Notes. THR says that Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment is partnering with LBI Entertainment to produce a new big-screen adaptation of Orwell’s dystopian classic.
Also involved is a street artist named Shepard Fairey, who made a name for himself by creating the iconic Barack Obama “Hope” poster. THR’s story says only that he was “instrumental in bringing the project to Imagine and LBI,” and that he may nab a producer role on the film. While a street artist isn’t the sort of person you expect to see attached to a movie, in the case of 1984 it makes a sort of sense. Orwell’s story explores themes of government surveillance and control, paranoia and propaganda. Those are all themes that can be strongly conveyed through imagery – and that’s right in Fairey’s wheelhouse.
1984 has been adapted many times before for both film and television – including, appropriately enough, in the year 1984. While the producers have landed the rights to the property, they haven’t yet found a writer and there aren’t many other details available yet. Given the current political climate and widespread skepticism toward or distrust of government, 1984 is as timely in 2012 as it was in 1948, so it shouldn’t have too much trouble finding an audience. At the very least, we know that Big Brother will be watching.