So just how beloved is Frances Hodgson’s Burnett‘s “The Secret Garden“? Well, if we’re judging by the number of times it has been adapted for film and television, it’s very, very beloved. First published in 1911, the novel was first brought to the big screen in a 1919 silent version, and over the decades, it has been made again numerous times, perhaps best known being the Francis Ford Coppola produced 1993 film directed by Agnieszka Holland. Well, it looks like we’re going to get another one.
The Oscar nominated “Beasts Of The Southern Wild” writer Lucy Alibar has been tapped to pen the latest iteration for producer Guillermo Del Toro. The ever busy director/producer was actually courted to direct it himself, but obviously his slate is busy enough, so he’ll produce alongside Mark Johnson, who he teamed with for “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark.” And it seems they picked Alibar for her specific voice. This take will apparently set the story of the orphaned girl and her magical garden in the American South at the turn of the 20th century, and you can make your own joke about it featuring a character named Hushpuppy. But it’s pretty clear Alibar has been selected for her highly creative voice, and that’s certainly not a bad thing at all.
The movie is set up over at Universal so we’ll see how development goes, but this one is off to a good start, and it looks like it will respect the classic book, while taking it in some interesting new directions. [Deadline]