Colin Firth and Julie Walters will lead the cast in a new adaptation of The Secret Garden.
The feature, based on the classic 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, is to be helmed by British director Marc Munden, while Harry Potter and the Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne will pen the movie’s script.
The story follows a young orphaned girl called Mary Lennox, played by Dixie Egerickx, who is sent from India to England to live with her uncle Archibald Craven. After meeting her sickly cousin Colin and unearthing many family secrets, the two children bond through their exposure to an extraordinary secret garden hidden in the grounds of Misselthwaite Manor.
Colin will play Archibald, while Julie will play Mrs. Madlock, the head housekeeper. Other castmembers include Isis Davis, Edan Hayhurst and Amir Wilson.
“This is a fantastical reimagining of The Secret Garden: I can’t wait to explore it,” announced Munden, who is best known for his work on British television dramas such as Utopia and National Treasure. “It’s an opportunity to immerse ourselves in an uncanny and wondrous world, which will play to the imaginations of adults and children alike.”
This new version of the tale follows a previous retelling of the story by Warner Bros. Family Entertainment, which was released in 1993 with a cast that included Maggie Smith, Irene Jacob and John Lynch. Though the original plot is based in the Edwardian era, Thorne has set his take on The Secret Garden in 1947, which covers the eve of Partition in India, as well as the post-World War II period in Britain.
The latest interpretation is being led by a StudioCanal and Heyday Films collaboration, who previously teamed up to bring Paddington and Paddington 2 to the world, and filming is due to begin in the U.K. on Monday (30Apr18).