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Global Road Entertainment has acquired North American distribution rights to “The Secret Garden,” a big-screen adaptation of a much-loved children’s novel that inspired everything from Broadway musicals to television series.

The film stars Oscar winner Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) and Julie Walters (“Billy Elliott”). Marc Munden (“The Crimson Petal and the White”) directs from a script written by Jack Thorne (“National Treasure”).

Written by Frances Hodgson Burnett and first published in 1911, “The Secret Garden” follows 10-year-old orphan Mary Lennox, who is sent from India to live with her reclusive uncle Archibald (Firth) and his strict housekeeper Mrs. Medlock (Walters) in an eerie mansion. The lonely girl defies her strict guardians, exploring the house and finding a hidden garden. Mary, local boy Dickon, sick cousin Colin and a stray dog bond in the mysterious garden and bond over a shared fantasy world.

“‘The Secret Garden’ is one of the world’s most beloved stories of all time celebrating friendship, nature and the limitless power of childhood imagination,” said Rob Friedman, Chairman and CEO of Global Road Entertainment.

Financed by Studiocanal, the film is produced by Heyday Film’s David Heyman and Rosie Alison. Principal photography of the film started last week in the U.K.

The deal was negotiated by John Zois, Global Road Entertainment’s head of worldwide acquisitions & co-productions and Studiocanal. In addition to financing, Studiocanal is also handling international sales for the film.