StudioCanal Announce Plans to Develop Enid Blyton’s MAGIC FARAWAY TREE With Neal Street Productions and Simon Farnaby
STUDIOCANAL today announce that they are in development with Neal Street Productions on Enid Blyton’s MAGIC FARAWAY TREE. Simon Farnaby (PADDINGTON 2) is attached to write the adaptation. Pippa Harris and Nicolas Brown from Neal Street Productions will produce.
MAGIC FARAWAY TREE is a STUDIOCANAL Production representative of the studio’s ambition in the family franchise market following the success of PADDINGTON 2, currently the number 1 family film at the UK box office, adding another beloved children’s classic to the slate.
Enid Blyton is one of the world’s best-selling authors with sales in excess of 500 million copies and translations in over 40 languages.
MAGIC FARAWAY TREE will be the first-ever feature film based on Enid Blyton’s MAGIC FARAWAY TREE series.
Each story takes place in the enchanted wood in which THE MAGIC FARAWAY TREE grows – tall enough to reach the clouds and large enough to contain small houses. At the top of the tree is an ever-rotating series of fantastic worlds, everything from the Land of Birthdays to the Land of Topsy-Turvy. Discovered by our child heroes, the tree and wood provide the background to their adventures.
Written between 1939 and 1951, The Magic Faraway Tree series is made up of four novels: THE ENCHANTED WOOD, THE MAGIC FARAWAY TREE, THE FOLK OF THE FARAWAY TREE and UP THE FARAWAY TREE. All have been optioned by Neal Street Productions, from Hachette Children’s Group, brand owners of Enid Blyton Entertainment, for development with STUDIOCANAL.
Writer Simon Farnaby comments "The Magic Faraway Tree books are a firework display of the imagination. The pages are lit up with wonderful characters, humour, peril and adventure. Most homes have a well worn jam fingerprinted volume somewhere on their shelves. I’m very much looking forward to bringing the likes of the Old Saucepan Man and Dame Washalot to the big screen for fans both old and new."
Danny Perkins CEO STUDIOCANAL UK confirms "Enid Blyton's work is timeless. Like many, I have loved her writing since childhood and it's incredible to develop such an expansive project with first class partners Neal Street Productions and Simon Farnaby. Not unlike the work of Michael Bond CBE, we very much look forward to bringing enduring family classics to audiences worldwide."
Pippa Harris adds “As a child I was entranced by the magical world created by Blyton, and it’s terrific to have the chance to introduce her beloved characters to a new generation of children. I know that by partnering with STUDIOCANAL and Simon Farnaby, we will be make sure that Moonface, Silky, Dame Washalot and Saucepan Man are in very safe hands."
Hilary Murray Hill, CEO at Hachette Children’s Group said “With the Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton created an incredible imaginative world. We can’t wait to see it realised on the big screen and couldn’t be happier to be working with STUDIOCANAL and Neal Street, whose track record with beloved childhood classics from Paddington to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory speaks for itself.”
Neal Street Productions
Neal Street Productions was formed in 2003 by Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris and Caro Newling, and Nicolas Brown joined in 2013 to work across the film and TV portfolio. The company has been successful in film, theatre and television with hit movies including Revolutionary Road, Jarhead and Starter for 10. Their diverse television slate includes the award-winning Stuart A Life Backwards, with Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch, three series of Penny Dreadful starring Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton and Rory Kinnear, and the hugely successful Call the Midwife. All six series to date have gained over 10m viewers, it is the UK’s most watched TV drama series and it has recently been voted the Best Drama of the 21st Century in the BFI & Radio Times Festival Audience Poll. Neal Street also produced the critically acclaimed and award-winning The Hollow Crown - a series of Shakespeare films for the BBC/PBS - starring Ben Whishaw, Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons, and a second series; The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Hugh Bonneville, Keeley Hawes and Sophie Okonedo was nominated for three Baftas, this year. Upcoming TV projects include Britannia, a major new original drama series written by Jez Butterworth starring Kelly Reilly, Zoe Wannamaker and David Morrissey, which will air on Sky and Amazon in 2018 and contemporary thriller, Informer, starring Paddy Consadine which is being made for BBC and Amazon. On the theatre side, current productions include The Ferryman written by Jez Butterworth, which opened to 5* reviews at the Royal Court and is currently at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End. Charlie at the Chocolate Factory The Musical which is at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway, and the upcoming UK Tour of Shrek The Musical which starts in December 2017. Neal Street Productions is an All3Media company, All3Media is owned jointly between Discovery Communications and Liberty Global.
STUDIOCANAL, a 100% affiliate of Vivendi’s CANAL+ Group, is Europe’s leader in production, right acquisition, distribution and international sales of feature films and TV series, operating directly in all three major European markets, France, the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as in Australia and New Zealand.
STUDIOCANAL owns one of the most important film libraries in the world, boasting 6,500 feature films, including the iconic Terminator 2, Breathless, Mulholland Drive and Belle de jour.
STUDIOCANAL has fully-financed recent box office hits like Paddington, Shaun the Sheep Movie and Non-Stop. Upcoming films backed by STUDIOCANAL include The Commuter featuring Liam Neeson, the highly-anticipated Paddington 2 by Paul King, and Aardman Studios’ stop-motion movies Early Man by Nick Park and Shaun the Sheep Movie 2.
STUDIOCANAL is actively developing and distributing high-end TV series through its network of award-winning European production companies, including Tandem Productions in Germany (Crossing Lines, Spotless), the UK’s RED Production Company (The Five, Happy Valley), Scandinavia’s SAM created by Soren Sveistrup and Adam Price (Borgen, The Killing), and Spain’s BAMBÚ PRODUCCIONES (Grand Hotel, Velvet). STUDIOCANAL has also stakes in the UK’s SunnyMarch TV, created by Benedict Cumberbatch, Urban Myth Films and Guilty Party.
About Enid Blyton Entertainment
Enid Blyton is one of the world’s best-selling children’s authors. Sales of her books are in excess of 500 million copies, and they have been translated into over 40 languages. Enid Blyton began her career as a school teacher before becoming a bestselling children's book author, writing over 800 books. In the UK she still sells more than one book every two minutes and many of her books have been adapted into films and TV series. As well as being regularly voted the UK’s best-loved author, Enid Blyton is the most translated children’s author in the world, according to UNESCO. Her most popular works include: The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, The Naughtiest Girl, The Adventure Series, The Faraway Tree, The Twins at St Clare’s and Malory Towers. In 2012, Hachette acquired the intellectual property of the whole of Enid Blyton’s estate (excluding Noddy). In April 2016 Enid Blyton Entertainment was created to represent the fully immersive entertainment entity.