Colin Firth and Julie Walters Join Marc Munden’s The Secret Garden

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Colin Firth and Julie Walters Join Marc Munden's The Secret Garden

Colin Firth and Julie Walters join Marc Munden’s The Secret Garden adaptation

StudioCanal and producers David Heyman and Rosie Alison announced today that principal photography has started in the UK for Marc Munden’s The Secret Garden. In the process it was revealed that Colin Firth and Julie Walters will star in the film.

Set in England, The Secret Garden tells the story of Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx), 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 (Colin Firth) on his remote country estate deep in the Yorkshire moors. There, she begins to uncover many family secrets, particularly when she meets her sickly cousin Colin (Edan Hayhurst), shut away in a wing of the house. It is a story of two damaged, slightly misfit, children who heal each other – partly through their exposure to a wondrous secret garden, lost in the grounds of Misselthwaite Manor.

Oscar nominated and BAFTA-winning Julie Walters (Paddington 1 & 2) will play Mrs Medlock, the head housekeeper at Misselthwaite. Amir Wilson (The Kid Who Would Be King) joins the stellar cast as Dickon with Isis Davis (Guilt, Electric Dreams) as Martha.

The film will be directed by Marc Munden (Utopia, The Mark of Cain, The Devil’s Whore). He is most known for his incredible work on TV and for creating brilliantly authored, highly visual worlds for viewers to experience. Munden commented, “This is a fantastical reimagining of The Secret Garden: I can’t wait to explore it. It’s an opportunity to immerse ourselves in an uncanny and wondrous world, which will play to the imaginations of adults and children alike.”

David Heyman (Harry PotterGravity) and Rose Alison (Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Testament of Youth) will be producing. Jane Robertson (Danish Girl, Breathe) will co-produce. Didier Lupfer, Danny Perkins, and Dan MacRae will executive produce for StudioCanal. The Secret Garden reunites StudioCanal and Heyday following their successful collaboration on Paddington 1 & 2.

David Heyman added, “I’m delighted to be working again with StudioCanal on The Secret Garden, brought so vividly to life by writer Jack Thorne. I’m excited that our director, Marc Munden, will be bringing his distinct imaginative vision to this enduring childhood story. 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.”

Rosie Alison confirmed, “The Secret Garden is a unique imaginative story, full of mystery and wonder, and we’re thrilled that Marc Munden will be bringing his visionary eye to Jack Thorne’s heartfelt script. In Colin Firth and Julie Walters, we’re delighted to have the ideal cast to bring this story to life. And we’re enormously excited to showcase three remarkable young actors in Dixie Egerickx, Edan Hayhurs and Amir Wilson.”

The Secret Garden was adapted from the original book by novelist Frances Hodgson Burnett. Screenwriter Jack Thorne (Shameless) has reset The Secret Garden in a slightly later period, removing it from the Edwardian era to 1947, on the eve of Partition in India, and in the aftermath of WW2 in Britain.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)