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Colin Firth’s Fantasy-Drama ‘The Secret Garden’ Bought by STX

STXFilms has acquired North American distribution rights to “The Secret Garden,” a movie adaptation of the beloved children’s novel that was in development at Global Road Entertainment for the past year.

The film stars Oscar winner Colin Firth and Julie Walters. Marc Munden (“The Crimson Petal and the White”) directs from a script by Jack Thorne (“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”).

Global Road announced in May during the Cannes Film Festival that it had bought North American rights to “The Secret Garden,” which had gone into production in the U.K. In September, Global Road filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and agreed in November to be purchased by Raven Capital Management.

“The Secret Garden” is produced by David Heyman, who’s behind the Harry Potter and Paddington franchises, along with Rosie Alison. Jane Robertson will co-produce.

Written by Frances Hodgson Burnett and first published in 1911, “The Secret Garden” centers on 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. She finds a hidden garden and bonds with local boy Dickon, sick cousin Colin, and a stray dog over a shared fantasy world.

Financed by Studiocanal, the movie is set in a new time period: 1947 England, on the eve of the partition of India, and in the aftermath of World War II in Britain.

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“The original ‘Secret Garden’ novel continues to be beloved by both children and adults around the world,” said STXFilms chairman Adam Fogelson. “We’re thrilled to partner with Studiocanal and Heyday, who together have worked on some of the most popular and well-received family films of the last decade, and look forward to bringing a fresh take on this fantastical story to life for audiences around North America.”

STX’s Jordan Lichtman and Carolyn Steinmetz negotiated the deal on behalf of the studio with Anna Marsh for Studiocanal.

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