Colin Firth and Julie Walters Join David Heyman-Produced ‘The Secret Garden’

Studiocanal will launch international sales at Cannes

Colin Firth and Julie Walters will star in the David Heyman-produced adaptation of children’s literary classic “The Secret Garden.” The film reunites Heyday Films and Studiocanal, which developed and financed the project, after their collaboration on the “Paddington” movies.

Shooting will take place in the U.K., and starts Monday. Marc Munden directs from Jack Thorne’s screenplay. Munden’s credits include TV drama “National Treasure,” which was written by Thorne. The period setting from the book has been changed, moving from the Edwardian era to 1947, on the eve of Partition in India, and in the aftermath of WW2.

Set in England, “The Secret Garden” follows Mary Lennox a prickly and unloved 10-year-old girl, born in India to wealthy British parents who never wanted her. When her parents suddenly die, she is sent back to England to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven (Firth). She meets her sickly cousin Colin and the two children find a wondrous secret garden lost in the grounds of Misselthwaite Manor.

Walters (“Billy Elliot”) plays Mrs Medlock, the head housekeeper at Misselthwaite. Dixie Egerickx (“The Little Stranger”) will play Mary and Edan Hayhurst (“Genius”) Colin. Amir Wilson (“The Kid Who Would be King”) and Isis Davis (“Electric Dreams”) also star.

“This is a fantastical reimagining of ‘The Secret Garden’: I can’t wait to explore it,” Munden said. “It’s an opportunity to immerse ourselves in an uncanny and wondrous world, which will play to the imaginations of adults and children alike.”

Heyman and Rosie Alison (“Paddington”) will produce. Jane Robertson (“Breathe”) will co-produce. Didier Lupfer, Danny Perkins and Dan MacRae executive produce for Studiocanal.

“I’m excited that our director, Marc Munden, will be bringing his distinct imaginative vision to this enduring childhood story,” Heyman said. “And I could not be more thrilled that Colin Firth and Julie Walters have joined the journey, alongside a remarkable new trio of young actors.”

Studiocanal will distribute in the U.K., France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. It will commence worldwide sales at Cannes.

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