For over a century, the novel Anne of Green Gables has given children and parents laughter, joy and heartbreak. And in those past 108 years, the story has been adapted for television well over a dozen times, not to mention the multiple stage and film versions. But what's old can always be made new with a little polish, and Anne of Green Gables will get all the polish it can handle in the upcoming Canadian drama Anne, which just got a big boost of future-popularity through streaming giant Netflix stepping in to co-produce the series.
Anne will have eight episodes to tell its initial story, which takes place in 1890, and I bet the period costumes and settings will likely look pretty amazing thanks to Netflix's deep pockets. The titular Anne Shirley is a smart and spirited 13-year-old orphan whose life has already been a hellacious slog of abusive foster families and horrid orphanages. She is accidentally sent to live with the prim spinster Marilla Cuthbert and her kindly brother Matthew, but it's the best kind of accident, as the imaginative Anne transforms both of the Cuthberts' lives, as well as those of others in their small town.
The coming-of-age story will stick largely to how the book laid things out, but with a mindset that also reflects modern problems, such as sexism, bullying, prejudice and other issues worth reflecting on. There have been six books within author Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne series, along with some short stories and spinoffs. There is more than enough material here to keep Netflix and CBC busy with this character for many years, especially if the story gets stretched and molded.
Doing that stretching and molding is writer Moira Walley-Beckett, a former actress who broke into the TV writing game in a big way with nine episodes of Breaking Bad. )And we're talking episodes like "Fly" and "Ozymandias," so get excited.) Walley-Beckett also created Starz's intense ballet drama _Flesh and Bone, and s_he'll serve as showrunner on top of writing all eight episodes. She'll be working with director Niki Caro for the two-hour series premiere. Caro is best known for writing and directing 2002's Whale Rider, and she got some acclaim for last year's McFarland, USA.
A new iteration of Anne of Green Gables has been in the cards over in Canada for years now, with the current project first getting announced earlier this year. Getting Netflix involved is huge in every way, and I'm sure that will help snag some bigger names when it comes time to cast the roles. June Squibb and Brendan Gleeson for Marilla and Matthew or GTFO.
Netflix, which recently announced True Blood's Anna Paquin will be heading there soon, continues broadening its horizons here, bringing one of its first live-action and serialized children's series to the media-sphere. Production on Anne is set to start up in September, so it's likely we'll get to see it debut in 2017. Until then, find everything else coming to Netflix soon with our premiere schedule.