Usually when I write about my surprise over a piece of news, it's in exasperation. You know -- writing about the umpteenth adaptation, remake, or reimagining. But could the movie industry finally be getting the hint? We've got Papa Hemingway on the way a few times (not to mention that yet-to-be-released Garden of Eden), Coriolanus, and now ...
Variety reports that Hugh Hudson is directing Bob Ellis' adaptation of George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia (simply titled Catalonia), with Colin Firth and Kevin Spacey starring. Yes folks -- Orwell did write more than 1984 and Animal Farm. In fact, the books inspired by his own life are some of his best work. This account focuses on his move to Catalonia (Barcelona) with his wife in the late 1930s to fight Stalinism*, where he joined the Anarchist brigade and fought in the Spanish Civil War -- which almost killed him. But rather than focus squarely on Orwell, the film will spotlight his friendship with Georges Kopp, the commander of the brigade.
I imagine that Firth will play Orwell (due to the Englishness), while Spacey takes on the Belgian Kopp. But it will take a while to learn much more -- production isn't scheduled to begin until the first half of 2010.
Now we just need more Henry Miller. A Devil in Paradise, anyone?
*Correction made thanks to Mattl