Entertainment

Anne of Green Gables set for new life on CBC-TV

'Anne's issues are contemporary issues: feminism, prejudice, bullying and a desire to belong'

Royal Tour Canada

Tess Benger, an actress who portrayed Anne of Green Gables in a Charlottetown production in 2011, is shown greeting Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. (Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press)

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Anne of Green Gables, one of Canada's most beloved literary heroines, is getting a makeover with a new CBC-TV series.

A female-led team of award-winning producers has signed on to create a new version of the Lucy Maud Montgomery classic simply entitled Anne, which will follow a similar storyline to the original novel about the spirited 13-year-old but also "chart new territory."

Production for an initial eight episodes is slated to begin this spring, with an eye on a 2017 debut — more than 30 years after CBC-TV first brought Anne Shirley into Canadian homes with the miniseries Anne of Green Gables.

"Adapting Anne's story really excites me," said Moira Walley-Beckett, Canadian Emmy-winner producer of Breaking Bad and Golden Globe nominee for Flesh and Bone as well as one of the executive producers of the new project. 

"Anne's issues are contemporary issues: feminism, prejudice, bullying and a desire to belong. The stakes are high and her emotional journey is tumultuous. I'm thrilled to delve deeply into this resonant story, push the boundaries and give it new life."

Walley-Beckett will produce the project with fellow Canadian Miranda de Pencier (Thanks for Sharing, Beginners) and colleagues Alison Owen (Suffragette, Temple Grandin) and Debra Hayward (Pride and Prejudice, Les Misérables).

Anne team

A team of hit producers is bringing Anne of Green Gables back to CBC-TV, including (from left) Moira Walley-Beckett, Debra Hayward, Miranda de Pencier and Alison Owen (CBC)

Montgomery's tales about the the red-headed orphan Anne Shirley have long inspired creators of TV, film and the stage: there have been more than two dozen different adaptations over the years. 

The character is regularly referenced in pop culture and her stories continue to draw myriad tourists to Prince Edward Island, her fictional home.

The announcement quickly sparked excitement among fans online.

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