The CBC has greenlit “Anne,” a new take on “Anne of Green Gables,” Variety has learned.
Based on the classic children’s novel by author Lucy Maud Montgomery, “Breaking Bad” alum Moira Walley-Beckett created the eight-episode TV series and will serve as exec producer and writer.
“Anne” begins production this spring and will premiere on CBC in 2017.
The series centers around the titular young orphaned girl who, after an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and the homes of strangers, is mistakenly sent to live with an elderly spinster and her aging brother. Over time, 13-year-old Anne will transform their lives and eventually the small town in which they live, with her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination.
CBC notes that while the show will follow a similar trajectory to Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic children’s novel, it will also explore new territory, as Anne and the rest of the characters in and around Green Gables will also experience original adventures.
“Anne” is an international co-production from Walley-Beckett, producer Miranda de Pencier’s Northwood Entertainment banner, and Alison Owen and Debra Hayward’s Monumental Pictures. CBC-TV is Canada’s public broadcasting network.
“We’re thrilled to be working with this exceptionally talented group of women on this exciting project,” says Tara Ellis, executive director, scripted content at CBC. “This new take on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved story will be highly anticipated by fans of Anne and a whole new generation of viewers who have yet to meet her.”
“Adapting Anne’s story really excites me,” says Walley-Beckett, whose most recent TV project, Starz’s limited series “Flesh and Bone,” scored two Golden Globe nominations. “Anne’s issues are contemporary issues: feminism, prejudice, bullying and a desire to belong. The stakes are high and her emotional journey is tumultuous. I’m thrilled to delve deeply into this resonant story, push the boundaries and give it new life.”
Adds de Pencier, “Moira has found a way to make this classic heroine, loved by so many readers, feel wonderfully fresh and modern. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with her remarkable talent and indelible voice and we really could not ask for better partners than Alison and Debra, who are prolific powerhouses with impeccable taste and world-class talent relationships.”
“When Moira and Miranda asked if we were interested in joining forces, we virtually jumped for joy,” says Owen. “Like many millions of girls and women, Debra and I grew up loving the books, so being asked to help bring Anne back into people’s homes is a dream come true. To be working with such incredible talents as Moira and Miranda is the icing on the cake.”
Walley-Beckett, de Pencier, Owen and Hayward will all serve as executive producers on the project.