Get out your tissues, this one's going to be a doozy.
For what seems to be a film scientifically engineered to transform the audience into a mass of sobbing, sniveling infants, Beasts of the Southern Wild writer Lucy Alibar has teamed up with Guillermo del Toro for a new adaptation of The Secret Garden, Deadline reports. Alibar, who co-wrote Beasts with director Benh Zeitlin, will work closely with Producer del Toro (who unfortunately will not be directing) to craft a script.
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Now, in case your memory on Frances Hodgson Burnett novels is a little murky, The Secret Garden is the one about bratty Mary, who moves from India to England to live with her agoraphobic uncle after her parents die in the cholera outbreak. Mary Mary Quite Contrary (as she is tauntingly called) comes to befriend her sickly, wheelchair-bound cousin Colin and the two of them play in a mysterious, magical garden. This is not to be confused with that other Hodgson Burnett yarn, in which a young orphan from India is transported to England where she befriends a poor servant. That is A Little Princess, and it's completely different.
While maintaining the story's early 20th century setting, Del Toro and Alibar's adaptation will transport Mary and Colin from England to the American South. Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that Hodgson Burnett's original subtext of British Colonialism will be replaced with Civil Rights issues?
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But, regardless of the setting, the killer combination of Alibar, del Torro (um, hello the saddest movie I've ever seen, Pan's Labyrinth), orphans, wheelchairs, and cholera makes this movie prime for weeping.
Now, raise your hand if you think Quvenzhané Wallis would make a perfect Mary.
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight]
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Harry Potter is getting a new leader.
Alfonso Cuaron, the director of the Spanish-language hit Y Tu Mama Tambien, will be taking over the reins from director Chris Columbus for the third Harry Potter installment, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Columbus, who just finished wrapping the second Potter film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will act as a producer on Azkaban, which follows the adventures of young wizard-in-training Harry Potter and his steadfast friends Hermione and Ron, as they discover more about Harry's mysterious past.
All the regular cast members, including Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, will be reprising their roles in Azkaban.
The Harry Potter tales by J.K. Rowling have "captured the imaginations of many people, myself included, and I am so excited to join an amazingly talented cast and crew," Cuaron told The Associated Press.
Cuaron has had experience adapting literature into films, having directed a stunning remake of the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel A Little Princess, as well as an updated version of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke.
Production on the third movie will begin in England early next year, with the film scheduled for release in summer 2004. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is due for release Nov. 15.
As anxious fans eagerly await the fifth Harry Potter book from author J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros. is looking for the next director to helm the third film in the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Chris Columbus, who directed the first two installments--last year's top box office grosser Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and the upcoming Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (due for release in November)--has declined to sign on for the third film. Variety reported he told the studio he wants to bring his family home after living in England for more than a year.
Who's on the list, then?
Warner Bros. is looking at a few key choices, including newbie director Callie Khouri (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood) and Kenneth Branagh, who is playing professor Gilderoy Lockhart in the second Harry Potter film.
On the top of the list, however, is Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, hot off his Spanish-language hit Y Tu Mama Tambien. Cuaron has proven he has an eye for lush visuals as well as an appreciation for children's books in such films as the 1998 modern update of Charles Dickens'Great Expectations and 1995's A Little Princess, based on the children's novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Variety reported Cuaron received the third Harry Potter script from writer Steve Kloves (who penned the first two) and is in conversation with the studio about his ideas.
As far as the fifth book on the continuing adventures of young wizard-in-training Harry Potter and his friends, tentatively titled Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Scholastic Publishing was hoping to have it in the stores this summer, but Rowling has told the company she isn't quite finished. It's now set for release in June 2003.
And so we wait.