We’re being blessed with a new adaptation of Anne of Green Gables. The story of the irrepressible, optimistic, accident-prone, redhead is being adapted into an eight-episode drama by Emmy-winning writer Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad). Production is set to begin next month in Ontario and the show will air in 2017 on Netflix.
For those who have not read L.M. Montgomery’s series, Anne of Green Gables and its sequels is the tale of Anne, an orphan girl accidentally adopted by the Cuthberts. They wanted a boy to help with the work around the farm, but a girl was sent instead. She quickly falls in love with their home, Green Gables, and becomes a part of their family and the town. Forever in search of a “bosom friend,” she finds several while getting into and out of scrapes, always glad that “tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.” The story is sweet, funny, lively, and very popular. Some people (like me) have read it multiple times, following each reread with a viewing of the 1985 films released by Sullivan films and starring Megan Follows. The initial trilogy, by the way, is something of a gold standard for book-to-screen adaptations, so the Netflix version has a hard act to follow.
They do seem to be treating it with the proper amount of care, with Netflix VP of content, Elizabeth Bradley, noting that “Anne Shirley is one of Canada’s greatest gifts to the world, known and loved internationally.” And another good adaptation would be welcome. I mean, who else can’t decide between Pride and Prejudice versions and has to settle for watching her favorites back to back? On the other hand, according to Deadline, the series “will honor the foundation of the book, but will incorporate new adventures reflecting themes of identity, sexism, bullying, prejudice, and trusting one’s self,” which is, frankly, confusing. I thought the books did all that already.
If you haven’t read the series yet, you owe it to yourself to start! Many of L.M. Montgomery’s books are available for free download on Project Gutenberg. The entire Anne of Green Gables series is available in a mind-boggling array of choices on Amazon as is the Megan Fallows Anne of Green Gables DVD and its sequels.