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Netflix Buys Andy Serkis’ ‘Animal Farm’ Adaptation

Netflix has purchased movie rights and is developing an adaptation of George Orwell’s iconic novel “Animal Farm.” Andy Serkis is directing and producing through his Imaginarium production company.

Other producers include 6th & Idaho’s Matt Reeves, Rafi Crohn and Adam Kassan, who will produce with the Imaginarium’s Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish.

The deal comes five days after Netflix bought Serkis’ troubled “Mowgli” project from Warner Bros., less than three months before its planned theatrical release. Netflix will release “Mowgli” next year.

Serkis had acquired rights to “Animal Farm” in 2012 as a TV project. The story, published in 1945, is an allegory for Stalinist Russia in which animals rebel against the humans who own their farm and adopt the rule of equality for all. By the end of the story, a group of pigs has begun ruling the animals.

The Netflix deal re-teams Serkis with Reeves following their work on “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “War for the Planet of the Apes.”

“We are incredibly excited to have finally found the perfect creative home in Netflix for this extraordinarily zeitgeist work by George Orwell,” Serkis said in a statement. “On top of that, to be re-united with my great friend Matt Reeves — 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.”

It’s unclear if “Animal Farm” will get any kind of theatrical release. A Netflix representative told Variety that “Mowgli” will have a theatrical release to go along with its release on the streaming service but provided no details. The Netflix news was first reported by Deadline.

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