George Orwell's Classic Novel 1984 Getting New TV Adaptation, Based On Controversial Play

A TV version of Orwell's influential dystopian novel will be adapted from a notorious stage show.


Despite its status as one of the most famous and influential novels of the 20th Century, it's been nearly 40 years since the last screen adaptation of George Orwell's dystopian classic 1984. A new TV version is on the way, and it will be based on a controversial stage adaptation.

As reported by Deadline, the new 1984 series will be a five-part miniseries produced by former ABC TV boss Paul Lee and David Flynn, who recently produced the Apple TV+ series Dickinson. It will adapt Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan's 2013 stage show, which became notorious both in the UK and the US for its graphic torture scenes. Icke and Macmillan will write the script for the series.

In a statement, Icke and Macmillan said, "As the world grapples with democracy and government in our divided age of surveillance, 'fake news,' and truth decay, the urgency of Orwell's masterpiece is undeniable. The small screen feels like a natural home for his portrait of a society in which people trust their screens more than the world outside their windows."

The stage show launched in Nottingham in 2013, before transferring to London's West End and Broadway. The play used strobes lights and abrasive sounds alongside the graphic violence, and became notorious when Jennifer Lawrence had to leave her seat during a New York performance to vomit in the theater lobby. Although it was subsequently reported that Lawrence had a stomach bug, it led the show's star Olivia Wilde to tweet, "As long as I have a play, Jennifer Lawrence has a place to puke."

1984 was published in 1947, and depicted a nightmarish future society where the lives and thoughts are controlled by a totalitarian government. There have been two movie versions, released in 1956 and 1984, plus two TV play adaptations in the '50s, and several radio versions.

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Why the need to make it into a TV adaptation?

It's already happening in real life now.



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