'Anne of Green Gables' comes to the big screen – as a musical

The stage musical version of L.M. Montgomery's novel, which is performed annually at the Charlottetown Festival on Prince Edward Island, will be turned into a film.

By , Staff Writer

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    'Anne of Green Gables' was originally published by L.M. Montgomery in 1908.
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The famous redheaded heroine Anne Shirley is set to hit the big screen.

The stage musical adaptation of L.M. Montgomery’s children’s novel will become a film from Side Road Media and the company Film Farm. “Anne of Green Gables – The Musical” is performed at the Charlottetown Festival on Prince Edward Island, the novel’s setting, every year and has been part of the festival since 1965. 

Actress and writer Kristen Thomson is adapting the show for the screen and Kelley Harron, daughter of one of the show’s original co-writers, Don Harron, is serving as one of the movie’s producers.

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“Being Canadian, you kind of forget how Lucy Maud Montgomery made a legacy around the world with this beloved, iconic character,” Harron told the CBC. “So it's super-exciting.”

According to Film Farm, the movie will be shot on Prince Edward Island, and Harron said the production is looking for a Canadian director to take on the film, according to the CBC. 

The show has been performed off-Broadway in New York, has been staged in London, and has toured around the world.

“Anne” was first published in 1908 and was followed by seven sequels. The first book tells the story of the title heroine, an imaginative orphan who comes to live with an elderly brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, by mistake – the two were looking for a boy to help with the farm work.

The most well-known adaptation of Anne’s story is the 1985 TV version which starred actress Megan Follows, who also later played the character in the TV movie  “Anne of Avonlea” and a TV program not based on Montgomery’s novels titled “Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story.” The last big-screen adaptation of the novel was in 1934, when an actress named Dawn O'Day, who later named herself after her role of Anne Shirley, took on the part.

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