Noah Oppenheim to Adapt George Orwell’s Classic Nineteen Eighty-Four
A big-screen remake of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four is set to be scripted by Noah Oppenheim, Deadline reports. Image Entertainment has joined forces with LBI Entertainment for the remake, the storyline of which is set in an imaginary dystopian world dominated by perpetual war, mind-control and constant, unyielding government surveillance. The storyline follows Winston Smith, the novel’s protagonist, as he embarks on a hidden affair with a woman called Julia, joins a secret organization called ‘The Brotherhood’, and is subsequently arrested and tortured by the Thought Police- but can he break free from the oppressive grasp of the controlling government? Or will he betray Julia and go back to being just another part of the rat-race?
Oppenheim, in contrast to the massive popularity and fame of the novel itself, is relatively unknown in the film industry having carved out a career in television thus far, leading critics to debate over his ability to adapt the novel to a high enough standard. Oppenheim has worked on television shows such as NBC’s Today Show and documentary series The Buried Life, so will be making a big jump from TV to the big screen.
What is likely to be another big challenge is for the casting team to find an actor who can fill John Hurt’s shoes, who was critically acclaimed for his brilliant performance as Winston Smith in the previous adaptation. However, with Gina Rosenblum on board as executive producer once again (she was also exec producer on the last major adaptation of Nineteen Eighty-Four) along with Street artist Shepard Fairey, there are high hopes for this remake. Let’s hope it stays faithful to the novel but also brings viewers new aspects to enjoy- because who wants a classic novel of this magnitude re-hashed as a film mindlessly until it’s lost all sense of its brilliance? Perhaps it would be better just left alone.