In the 63 years since George Orwell’s 1984 was originally published, our modern world has come to resemble the dark dystopia seen in the novel in myriad eerie, worrying ways. Automated drones patrol our skies, surveillance cameras dot our urban landscapes and the government is actively trying to censor words it deems too provocative. At this point, calling Orwell’s book “prophetic,” is less “hyperbolic anti-establishmentarianism” and more “high-school-level indictment of our modern, government-sponsored surveillance culture.”
Thus, it should come as no surprise that Hollywood would be ramping up yet another film production based on 1984. This latest effort is being produced by Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Julie Yorn and Rick Yorn, and as of this morning has picked up Noah Oppenheim to pen the script. If you’re not familiar with Oppenheim, don’t fret: he isn’t all that well known. His IMDB page lists a number of producer credits for a smattering of television shows, and Deadline claims that Oppenheim is currently also scripting remakes of 2010’s Swedish crime drama Snabba Cash as well as 1983’s hacker classic WarGames. Whether that gives you any hope for Oppenheim’s ability to adapt the most frighteningly prescient sci-fi novel of the 20th century for film likely depends heavily on your optimism and whether or not you’re closely related to the guy.
Deadline also mentions that street artist Shepard Fairey has an executive producer credit on this film, though offers no explanation why. Maybe the iconic Obama “Hope” poster is the kind of cutting edge political statement that the producers hope to make with this movie? Personally we would have approached Banksy instead — thematically speaking, his work is far more Orwellian than the relatively mainstream-friendly, commercially viable efforts Fairey has built his career on — but then again, if we were running the show, the script would be penned by Alan Moore, and the soundtrack would be equal parts Tchaikovsky and Black Flag circa 1983.
While we’re on the topic of disappointing choices, it should also be noted that the last big film production of Orwell’s 1984 starred John Hurt in one of his best roles (hence the header image). We’ve spent twenty minutes trying to think of a modern actor that could possibly match Hurt in his prime, in a role seemingly tailor-made for his abilities, and we’re still drawing a blank. If any of you can think of a cast that might do this movie justice, please let us know in the comments. We’ve got nothin’.