Shepard Fairey To Bring Big Brother To Big Screen

Street artist Shepard Fairey to make new movie of ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’

Los Angeles street artist Shepard Fairey has teamed up with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment to create a big screen adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian classic.

Shepard Fairey was apparently instrumental in bringing the book to Imagine Entertainment, which will partner with LBI Entertainment for the project. And Fairey is likely to end up with a producer credit once the deal is done. 

Orwell’s seminal 1949 literary work has already been turned into a film a number of times – most recently, in 1984, starring John Hurt and Richard Burton, but failing to really lodge itself into popular memory.

Nineteen Eighty-Four (first published in 1949) by George Orwell is a dystopian novel about Oceania, a society ruled by the oligarchical dictatorship of the Party. Life in the Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, and incessant public mind control, accomplished with a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc), which is administered by a privileged Inner Party elite. Yet they too are subordinated to the totalitarian cult of personality of Big Brother, the deified Party leader who rules with a philosophy that decries individuality and reason as thoughtcrimes.

The protagonist, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party who works for the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to re-write past newspaper articles so that the historical record is congruent with the current party ideology. Because of the childhood trauma of the destruction of his family — the disappearances of his parents and sister — Winston Smith secretly hates the Party, and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother.

Fairey is best known for creating the Barack Obama “Hope” poster. He has spent time onscreen in the 2010 Banksy documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop” and recently had a vocal cameo on “The Simpsons” where he played a police informant posing as a street artist.

In February, Fairey entered a guilty plea in his criminal case with the Associated Press involving his use of an AP photo for the Obama poster. The artist admitted to destroying documents, manufacturing evidence and other misconduct.

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