Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden will come to life again in a new adaptation starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters.
For many of us, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden brings back memories of childhood.
The 1911 novel, which has already been adapted for film three times, tells the story of Mary Lennox, a sickly and unloved 10-year-old girl born in India to wealthy British parents who never wanted her and ignore her as a result. But after a cholera epidemic strikes the household and kills her parents, Mary is sent back to England to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven, in Yorkshire, where she uncovers some mysterious secrets hiding throughout the house and its grounds.
And now, the trailer for the film’s latest remake has officially dropped – and it looks incredible.
The main section of the film’s action – which has actually been brought forward to 1947 (a significant change from the original novel) – follows Mary as she discovers her sickly cousin, Colin, who has been shut away in a separate wing of the house for years.
“Together, these two damaged, slightly misfit children heal each other through their discovery of a wondrous secret garden, lost in the grounds of Misselthwaite Manor. A magical place of adventure that will change their lives forever,” reads the film’s official synopsis.
As we see in the film’s first trailer, the remake will star Colin Firth and Julie Walters as Archibald Crane and Mrs Medlock (Crane’s head servant) respectively. The cast also features Dixie Egerickx as Mary and Edan Hayhurst as Colin.
The film is set to hit screens in the UK on 17 April 2020.
The trailer has received some mixed reviews on Twitter, with some fans of the 1993 film suggesting the new adaptation is unnecessary, and others saying the new film looks just as nostalgia inducing and magical as the previous versions.
“Hmm, not yet convinced by the new Secret Garden. The 1993 version is practically flawless. I’m sure Julie Walters will be a great Mrs Medlock, but you just can’t beat Maggie Smith,” wrote one response.
“I still watch the 1993 version and read the book periodically. Still love it until today, excited to see the latest version of the movie,” added another.
However, what worried fans the most were the moments in the trailer where the garden is made to look magic (at one point a tree branch moves to sit underneath Mary’s hand) – because in the original text the only magical thing about the space was its secret, undiscovered nature.
“The Secret Garden was *secret*. It was locked up and abandoned,” one Twitter user wrote. “It wasn’t magic. There was no literal magic involved. It was not bigger on the inside like some sort of stone walled wardrobe.”
With the film’s release date still several months away, we’ll have to wait just a little bit longer to find out what other changes the film’s director may have made to this universally beloved story.
Image: Heyday Films StudioCanal