Andy Serkis’ Animal Farm to Start Shooting in 2014
Wow, I really dropped the ball on this one. How did I not know that Andy Serkis, a.k.a. Gollum from Lord of the Rings and Caesar from Rise of the Planet of the Apes, announced last goddamn year that he was going to make his directorial debut with a mo-capped version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm? That’s fucking awesome! How could I have missed that?! Well, I’m not missing anything else about this thing.
While speaking with Screendaily at CIS (Cinematic Innovation Summit), Serkis said that Animal Farm will start shooting late next year…
We’ve started pre-vis which in the virtual world in many instances means you’ve already started shooting the film. Principal photography will take place in the middle to third quarter of next year.
He also revealed that Imaginarium, Serkis’ new performance capture studio he co-founded with producer Jonathan Cavendish, is working with German concept artist Michael Kutsche. Kutsche has worked on films like Alice in Wonderland, Thor, John Carter of Mars, and Oz the Great and Powerful. Say what you will about the movies themselves but his artwork for them is awesome.
Serkis went on to say that Animal Farm will be entirely mo-capped, unlike previous movies he’s worked on which were only partially mo-capped. All the interactions and facial expressions in the film will be generated by the interactions and facial expressions of the actors playing the roles…
The design for those has to work in a particular way and it’s a particular heightened design look we’re going for. We also have to find a balancing aesthetic for the environment in which we situate the characters. We’re experimenting shooting with live action plates but with a heightened design…it’s not just shooting in a field.
The film has apparently also finalized its casting, with a “great cast” lined up. No announcement will be made about that casting until financing has been completed some time in 2014, with Serkis estimating the budget at around $50 million. Serkis says that he and Imaginarium are producing the film like an indie movie, getting as far as they can into production before getting a studio involved.
No word on a release date, but I am really excited to see how all this pans out and how Serkis does as a director.