Paul Greengrass Attached to Direct ‘1984’

Paul Greengrass directing Green Zone

Never one to shy away from political tales, Paul Greengrass is preparing to adapt a classic of the genre. Sony Pictures is getting the ball rolling on a new adaptation of 1984, the dystopian novel by George Orwell, and has attached Greengrass to direct. Hit the jump for more details on the Paul Greengrass 1984 movie.

Deadline reports the new 1984 is being produced by Scott Rudin, who worked with Greengrass on Captain Phillips, as well as Gina Rosenblum, who produced the 1984 version of 1984 starring John Hurt. Playwright James Graham, who wrote the book for the Broadway musical Finding Neverland, will write the 1984 script.

First published in 1949, when 1984 was still considered the distant future, Orwell’s 1984 takes place in a dystopian country in which citizens are under constant surveillance by an authoritarian government. Independent thinking has been outlawed, and politicians sugarcoat their true intentions with contradictory euphemisms.

The protagonist of the tale is Winston Smith, a Ministry of Truth employee whose job is to revise historical record in favor of the ruling party. He harbors a dangerous secret hatred of the Party and eventually strikes up a highly illegal love affair with another “thought criminal” named Julia.

1984 is a slightly unusual choice for Greengrass as he doesn’t do much genre work. He tends to favor fact-based thrillers (Captain Phillips, Green Zone,¬†United 93) or gritty actioners (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). But the strong political themes should be right in his wheelhouse, and 1984 could potentially benefit from a grounded, realistic approach.

Greengrass has yet to confirm his next movie after the 2013 hit Captain Phillips, though his new Bourne movie with Matt Damon is expected to move forward soon. Other projects on his plate include the Cold War thriller The Tunnels and the Atlanta Olympics bombing pic The Ballad of Richard Jewell, the MLK biopic Memphis, and the War on Terror drama Agent Storm.

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