'The Magic Faraway Tree': Claire Foy & Andrew Garfield To Star In Adaptation Of Beloved UK Children's Book Series

Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy will star in their first project together since 2017’s “Breathe” in a movie adaptation of one of the UK’s most beloved children’s book series. Deadline reports that the pair will star in Ben Gregor‘s “The Magic Faraway Tree,” based on Enid Blyton‘s mid-20th century series. And Blyton’s books are in good hands: “Paddington 2” scribe and BAFTA-winner Simon Farnaby pens the film’s script.

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For those unfamiliar with “The Faraway Tree” series, it follows a modern family that moves to the remote English countryside, where the children discover a magical tree that’s a portal to fantastical other worlds. As the kids pursue adventures through the tree, they meet extraordinary characters who help the family reconnect after years of strife. Foy and Garfield will play parents Polly and Tim in the film, with children Beth, Joe, and Fran yet to be cast. Expect new on that front soon, however, as Gregor plans to shoot “The Magical Faraway Tree” starting next month.

“The Magic Faraway Tree” is a Neal Street ProductionsElysian Film Group, and Ashland Hill Media Finance co-production, with Ashland Hill fully financing. The film will make the rounds at the Cannes market, with Palisades Park Pictures handling its worldwide sales and CAA Media Finance for its US rights. Producers include Pippa Harris and Nicolas Brown through Neal Street, Danny Perkins through Elysian, and Jane Hooks.  Executive producer include Simon WilliamsJoe Simpson, and Jonathan Bross through Ashland Hill, and Palisade Park’s Tamara Birkemoe.

Enid Blyton adaptation The Magic Faraway Tree has found key cast in the shape of two-time Oscar nominee Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider Man) and two-time Emmy winner Claire Foy (All of Us Strangers).

Neal Street Productions, Elysian Film Group and Ashland Hill Media Finance are behind the movie which is being adapted by BAFTA-winner Simon Farnaby (Paddington 2) and will be directed by Ben Gregor (Britannia).

After writing the universally beloved “Paddington 2,” Farnaby is the right man to adapt another beloved UK childrens book series. “To have two actors of the quality of Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy is a dream for any screenwriter,” said Farnaby in a press statement.  “I have long admired their warmth, wit and lightness of touch. Plus, they have the power to imbue their characters’ complexities that I don’t have the power to write … I mean, even Enid Blyton might be impressed we got Spider-Man and the Queen…”. As for Gregor, he added, “Ben Gregor added: “Andrew and Claire are exquisite performers and I feel so spoiled to have them for this film. They are the cornerstones of our big-hearted world and the perfect people to bring our lovely script to life.”

“The Magic Faraway Tree” should be lighter fare for Foy and Garfield. Foy just wrapped shooting on “Savage House,” a dark satirical period piece that takes place during the Jacobite uprising in 18th-century England. And Garfield’s next film, John Crowley‘s “We Live In Time” with Florence Pugh, is a romance; not as grim as Foy’s new film, but decidedly more intense than a children’s book. As for Gregor’s take on Blyton’s series, expect in theaters sometime next year.