Lately there seems to be a trend of apocalyptic/dystopian themes in movies. Theaters have been flooded by films like 2012, Atlas Shrugged and The Hunger Games. The latest is a new adaptation of George Orwell’s book, 1984. Though the future Orwell predicted in 1949 has come and gone and the movie’s been produced once before (in, well, year 1984), its depiction of an overly-controlling government is still relevant. The book follows protagonist Winston Smith as he navigates through a world where both actions and thoughts are controlled by Big Brother. And no, I’m not being cliche — the book is actually the originator of the common phrase “Big Brother is watching.” Used to a life of obedience, Smith has secret doubts about the society he lives in. He rebels in a quest for happiness and love.
So far, the movie’s in the very early stages of creation. A director has yet to be chosen, though there are several producers signed on, including Brian Grazer, Julie Yorn and Rick Yorn. Grazer is competent in a variety of different genres, as evidenced by his work on A Beautiful Mind (2001), The Nutty Professor (1996), The Da Vinci Code (2006), Apollo 13 (1995) and many others. Both Yorns worked on Max Payne (2008). More recently, Julie Yorn was producer for We Bought a Zoo (2011). Artists Gina Rosenblum and Shepard Fairey will also be contributing.
Noah Oppenheim will be scriptwriter for 1984. Usually working in television, he’ll step out of his element for this one, but I’m sure he’s more than capable of taking on the challenge. At any rate, he’s used to exposing fractured societies — while working for NBC News, he covered the 9/11 tragedy as well as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Whether or not the movie’s plot will deviate from the book is still up in the air. Apart from the name, there isn’t any reference to historical events which would pin the book’s plot to a specific time period. If the film stayed true to the book, it won’t seem like old-fashioned speculation. On the other hand, there’s ample opportunity to work in new technology and current events. Reel Movie Nation will keep you updated as we learn more. In the meantime, what’s your opinion? Who would you like to see direct this classic and should it be “modernized” in any way?