This is not quite new news. There has been talk of a Faraway Tree movie for at least a few years now. As far back as 2014 there were reports that the series would be adapted for the big screen, but nothing had been heard since, not until this week.
The 2014 story
The news was exciting as it was more than rumour and reported by many of the big news sources including the BBC and the Guardian.
Neal Street Productions (Sam Mendes’ production company) had, at that point, signed an agreement allowing them to develop the story for this big screen. Pippa Harris, co-founder of Neal Street Productions was quoted as being captivated by The Faraway Tree books as a child.
That was all the information available, there was no writer or director attached to the project and there was no suggestion of a release date either.
The 2017 update
When I first saw the news article proclaiming a movie version of the Faraway Tree I admit I rolled my eyes and thought ‘that old story again’ but then I saw the date.
I had seen the 2014 news repeatedly over the past few years whenever someone stumbled on it for the first time and excitedly shared it, not realising that it had been published a year or two prior without any hint of development.
The difference this time is that there are a few more details.
Neal Street Productions are still behind the project but they are working with Studiocanal now. There is also a writer named – Simon Farnaby – who co-wrote the successful Paddington 2 screenplay. Pippa Harris and Nicolas Brown are named as the producers too.
So what will happen?
I’m very much hoping that this will actually come to fruition, (despite not yet having read the books!) though a part of me wonders if it will after all this time.
There are a few things to be debated of course, like whether the original names will be replaced. Will we have Jo, Fanny and Bessie or Joe, Frannie and Beth? Will Dick become Rick, and will Dame Slap be replaced by Dame Snap? The sad truth is that it will most likely be a ‘yes’ to the replacements.
Then we can start wondering who will play Jo, Fanny and Bessie. Will they be CGI characters voiced by famous actors or will we see new, talented child actors on screen?
Just a few of the book designs over the years.
Which if any, could inspire the look of a movie?
What’s perhaps likely is that Simon Farnaby will appear – he had a cameo in both of the Paddington Films after all.
And if it’s a success we could see the other books adapted too!