Canadian network CBC has announced a new TV series, Anne. It is a remake of the CBC’s 1985 Anne of Green Gables, which starred Megan Follows as Anne Shirley. Moira Walley-Beckett of Breaking Bad and Flesh and Bone, will produce with kindred spirits, Miranda de Pencier, Alison Owen, and Debra Hayward.
Based on the classic Lucy Maud Montgomery novel of the same name, the story is set in the the fictional town of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, Canada. The author’s home town Cavendish inspired the setting. There is no word on casting, yet. A hard act to follow — Follows currently plays Catherine de’ Medici on The CW‘s Reign.
4/20/2017 Update: While the show runs in Canada under the title, Anne, on Netflix, the series will premiere with the new title Anne with an E, on May 12, 2017.
Montgomery produced several sequels to the original Anne of Green Gables novel: Anne of Avonlea; Anne of the Island; Anne of Windy Poplars (aka Anne of Windy Willows); Anne’s House of Dreams; and Anne of Ingleside.
The author includes Anne Shirley in her books Rainbow Valley; Rilla of Ingleside; and The Blythes Are Quoted, although these volumes are more about Anne’s family and friends.
Anne appears or is mentioned in Chronicles of Avonlea and Further Chronicles of Avonlea. The first season will have eight episodes and, if it is a hit, there is certainly enough source material for several seasons and even spin-off shows.
From the CBC:
Anne of Green Gables, one of Canada’s most beloved literary heroines, is getting a makeover with a new CBC-TV series.
A female-led team of award-winning producers has signed on to create a new version of the Lucy Maud Montgomery classic simply entitled Anne, which will follow a similar storyline to the original novel about the spirited 13-year-old but also “chart new territory.”
Production for an initial eight episodes is slated to begin this spring, with an eye on a 2017 debut — more than 30 years after CBC-TV first brought Anne Shirley into Canadian homes with the mini-series Anne of Green Gables.
“Adapting Anne’s story really excites me,” said Moira Walley-Beckett, Canadian Emmy-winner producer of Breaking Bad and Golden Globe nominee for Flesh and Bone as well as one of the executive producers of the new project.
“Anne’s issues are contemporary issues: feminism, prejudice, bullying and a desire to belong. The stakes are high and her emotional journey is tumultuous. I’m thrilled to delve deeply into this resonant story, push the boundaries and give it new life.”
Walley-Beckett will produce the project with fellow Canadian Miranda de Pencier (Thanks for Sharing, Beginners) and colleagues Alison Owen (Suffragette, Temple Grandin) and Debra Hayward (Pride and Prejudice, Les Misérables).
Montgomery’s tales about the the red-headed orphan Anne Shirley have long inspired creators of TV, film and the stage: there have been more than two dozen different adaptations over the years.
The character is regularly referenced in pop culture and her stories continue to draw myriad tourists to Prince Edward Island, her fictional home.
Have you read Anne of Green Gables and its sequels? Have you watched the 1985 Anne of Green Gables mini-series? Do you plan to tune in to the new Anne TV show on the CBC? Tell us.