Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Serkis: Animal Farm is a 'fable'

Andy Serkis' acting career will take a back seat as he gets his teeth into directing

Andy Serkis has revealed that his version of Animal Farm will be a "fairy tale".

The Lord Of The Rings star, who reprises his role as Gollum in Peter Jackson's prequel The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will sit in the director's chair for the big-screen adaptation of George Orwell's classic novel.

"We're not doing a communist allegory, we're doing it as if Orwell was writing Animal Farm about today. It's a fairy tale and it has an innocence about it still. It's shrouded as a fable," he said.

Andy - who has set up a performance capture and production studio in London - added the project is still in "very embryonic stages", and that it would feature actors using performance capture to portray the animals.

"This way of doing it allows real emotionally-driven actors telling Orwell's fable. It's been a favourite book of mine for years."

Andy got his first taste of directing when Peter asked him to take control of the second unit on The Hobbit.

"Peter has known that I've wanted to direct for some time. Even back as far as Lord Of The Rings, I was making short films," he said.

"After King Kong, I directed video game projects and then we set up this performance capture studio in London called The Imaginarium. I was about to direct my first feature, and then the call came and Peter asked me to direct the second unit."

The 48-year-old now plans to put acting on the backburner, and is already lining up his next directing stint.

"Over the next few years, I'm very much focused on directing and producing. The next one is Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season, which is the first of seven books set in a dystopian future," he added.

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