Colin Firth and Julie Walters have been announced to star in the forthcoming children’s adaptation of The Secret Garden from Studiocanal.

The enduring classic of children’s literature has been adapted by acclaimed screenwriter Jack Thorne, known for his wonderful ability to capture the natural idiom of children, most recently showcased in the smash hit Harry Potter play. Jack 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.

Based on the original book by novelist Frances Hodgson Burnett, the story is set in England, THE SECRET GARDEN tells the story of Mary Lennox played by 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.

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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. Julie Walters will play Mrs Medlock, the head housekeeper at Misselthwaite. Amir Wilson joins the cast as Dickon with Isis Davis as Martha.

National Treasures, Marc Munden will take the helm, while the multi award-winning David Heyman (Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts, Paddington 1 & 2and Rosie Alison (Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Paddington 1 & 2) will serve as producers. Jane Robertson will co-produce (Danish Girl, Bridget Jones’s Baby). Didier Lupfer, Danny Perkins and Dan MacRae Executive Produce for Studiocanal. The Secret Garden see’s Heyman reuniting with Studiocanal after there triumphant collaboration on Paddington.

Shooting begins in the UK on Monday 30th April.