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Nicola Coughlan, Nonso Anozie, Jessica Gunning, Mark Heap, Michael Palin and more join The Magic Faraway Tree

Neal Street Productions, Elysian Film Group and Ashland Hill Media Finance today announced further cast names for the upcoming film adaptation of Enid Blyton’s beloved children’s classic, The Magic Faraway Tree.

Based on The Faraway Tree series of novels for children, The Magic Faraway Tree follows Polly and Tim Thompson and their children, Beth, Joe and Fran, who find themselves forced to relocate to the remote English countryside. There, the children discover a magical tree and its extraordinary and eccentric occupants.

The inhabitants of the tree, capable of transporting visitors to fantastical far-off lands, will be played by Nicola Coughlan (Bridgerton, Derry Girls) cast as beloved woodland fairy Silky, Nonso Anozie (Sweet Tooth, Ted Lasso) as self-appointed group leader Moonface, Jessica Gunning (Baby Reindeer, The Outlaws) as Dame Washalot and Dustin Demri-Burns (Slow Horses, The Great) as Saucepan Man. Rounding out the cast of the magical denizens of the woodlands will be Mark Heap (Friday Night Dinner, The School for Good and Evil) as Mr. Oom Boom Boom and Oliver Chris (Trying, My Lady Jane) as Mr. Watzisname.

British icons Sirs Lenny Henry, Michael Palin and Simon Russell Beale have also been announced and will play a trio of mystical wise men from the Land of Know-Alls. They join the previously announced Claire Foy and Andrew Garfield.

CEO of Elysian Film Group, Danny Perkins said “Attracting such talented high-profile individuals to this project is testament to the power of Blyton’s enduring legacy and the continued commerciality of her storytelling. Her work continues to inspire and enchant audiences of all ages, across the world. The Magic Faraway Tree is one of her most timeless, cherished by generations, and we are honoured to be bringing her magical world to life with such a fantastic cast.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Neal Street Productions and Elysian Film Group to realize Ben and Simon’s vision for The Magic Faraway Tree,” added Ashland Hill Media Finance Managing Partner, Joe Simpson. “This dynamic and talented cast are perfect to breathe life into the characters from Enid Blyton’s unfading and enduring classic children’s tale. I have no doubt they will fill the screen with wonder and magic in this elevated, high-concept family adventure.”

Adapted by BAFTA Award-winner Simon Farnaby (Wonka, Paddington 2), the movie will be directed by Ben Gregor (Britannia, Cuckoo, Black Ops, Fatherhood). Production will commence later this month across the UK.

Enid Blyton’s books remain actively in print to this day and have been translated into over 35 languages, selling over 500 million copies worldwide and making her the most translated children’s author in the world. In the UK alone, over 3.5 million copies of her books are sold annually. The Faraway Tree series remains one of her most popular, having sold over 30 million copies to date and continuing to sell over half a million copies each year to new readers.

The film is produced by Academy Award-nominee Pippa Harris (Empire of Light, 1917, Call the Midwife) and Nicolas Brown (Britannia, Informer, Penny Dreadful) of Neal Street Productions, along with Danny Perkins (Greatest Days) of Elysian Film Group, and Jane Hooks (Golda, Living). Executive Producers include Ashland Hill Media Finance’s Simon Williams, Joe Simpson and Jonathan Bross and Palisades Park Pictures’ Tamara Birkemoe.

Ashland Hill Media Finance is fully financing The Magic Faraway Tree. Palisades Park Pictures is handling worldwide sales, with CAA Media Finance co-repping US rights.

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