Well, if U2 can do Spider-Man, Elton John can do “Animal Farm.” The piano-pounding musician is collaborating with his “Billy Elliot” co-writer Lee Hall on a legit musical based on George Orwell’s allegorical 1945 novel.
It’s hard to say how the book — which employed barnyard animals in its Orwellian critique of Stalinism — will make a cozy transfer to the stage (though Variety’s David Benedict notes it has made it to the boards in the past). It has been adapted for both the big and small screens, albeit without great success.
English animators John Halas and Joy Batchelor made it into a feature-length cartoon in 1954, with advertising (left) that avoided its dark political themes. Jim Henson’s Creature Shop built the critters for Hallmark’s 1999 TV version, which employed the voice talents of Patrick Stewart, Kelsey Grammer and Paul Scofield, among others.