Deadline reports that Pirates of the Caribbeans actor Mackenzie Crook has signed on to star in BBC’s forthcoming film adaptations of novelist Barbara Euphan Todd’s classic British scarecrow tale Worzel Gummidge. Crook will also direct and write the films’ scripts.
“I’m thrilled to be back working with the BBC and many members of the Detectorists team to bring Worzel Gummidge to a new generation of viewers and reintroduce him to old friends,” Crook said. “Adapting Barbara Euphan Todd’s books into these two films has been a joy and I’ve completely fallen for her charming, irreverent scarecrow. Fingers crossed for a glorious English summer as we head out to Scatterbrook Farm and Worzel’s Ten Acre Field.”
BBC’s Controller Comedy Commissioning, Shane Allen added, “Mackenzie’s widely adored and multi-Bafta award-winning Detectorists was a grown-up love letter to bucolic England and with Worzel he takes a similar approach to English folklore, rural rites and the magic of childhood. His visionary and fundamental reinterpretation of this classic is that rare and special achievement – a BBC One family-friendly comedy.”
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BBC‘s adaptations will consist of two-hour long features titled The Scarecrow of Scatterbrook and The Green Man. Their official synopses read:
The Scarecrow Of Scatterbrook, will follow two young strangers, Susan and John, arrive in the village of Scatterbrook, where they encounter Gummidge. Their world is sent spinning into confusion when they realize Gummidge comes to life. The only person more shocked is Worzel, when he discovers that the children are not, in fact, fellow scarecrows but humans.
The Green Man is the creator of scarecrows and keeper of scarecrow lore. He isn’t at all happy that Worzel is consorting with humans.
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The two films will be executive produced by Leopard Pictures’ Kristian Smith, Lola Entertainment’s Lisa Thomas, and Crook through his Treasure Trove Productions banner. Georgie Fallon will also serve as a producer. Alex Moody has been set as BBC’s Commissioning Editor. The film was commissioned by BBC’s Controller Comedy Commissioning, Shane Allen and BBC’s Director of Content, Charlotte Moore.