The Magic Faraway Tree | Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy join cast

claire foy and andrew garfield in breathe film
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Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree film continues to take shape, with Simon Farnaby writing the script. Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy are to star.

The latest family adventure from screenwriter Simon Farnaby has nabbed a pair of proper A-listers for its cast, with Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy joining the film adaptation of Enid Blyton’s beloved children’s novels, The Faraway Tree series.

The plot of the film sees Polly (Foy), Tim (Garfield) and their children move to the English countryside, where they encounter a magical tree which transports them to extraordinary lands. Featuring beloved characters like Moonface, Silky, Dame Washalot and Saucepan Man, the four books in the series have become children’s classics since the first was published in 1939.

This marks the second time Garfield and Foy have played an on-screen couple after 2017’s polio drama, Breathe (pictured).

Farnaby said: “To have two actors of the quality of Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy is a dream for any screenwriter. 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…”

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Director 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.”

Simon Farnaby is developing quite the reputation as a screenwriter. Following on from writing duties on Horrible Histories and Ghosts, his film work includes last year’s Wonka, The Phantom Of The Open and a little film called Paddington 2, all of which sit somewhere on the spectrum of “thoroughly lovely” to “emotionally crippling”.

Entertainingly, the Faraway Tree Wikipedia page informs us that the film is aligning itself with later reprints of the books, which include a couple of name changes for modern audiences. In later editions, original characters Fanny and cousin Dick “have been renamed Frannie and Rick because in the United Kingdom and some countries in the Commonwealth of Nations they are now more widely used as slang terms for genitalia”. Tee hee.

The Magic Faraway Tree film is due to start shooting in June 2024.

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