Guillermo del Toro to produce The Secret Garden adaptation and Lucy Alibar will write the screenplay.
Add another project to Guillermo del Toros list of productions. News has it that del Toro will produce a new adaptation of The Secret Garden, the 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Universal won the rights to the story and has set Oscar-nominated screenwriter Lucy Alibar, who co-wrote Beasts of the Southern Wild, to pen the screenplay. Before you even ask, no, it doesnt look like del Toro will be directing, though he will work closely with Alibar and will reteam with Dont Be Afraid of the Dark producer Mark Johnson.
Deadline reports that del Toro and Alibar will be part of the creative force behind Universals adaptation of The Secret Garden. The century-old tale centers on a ten-year-old Mary Lennox, a recently orphaned girl who moves from India to her uncles estate in England. There, she discovers a rose garden hidden away on the grounds which becomes central to her story. This is ideal material for del Toro, considering his continuing development of Pans Labyrinth projects, as well as Alibar, whose play Juicy and Delicious was adapted into Beasts of the Southern Wild, another somewhat supernatural tale centering on young children.
Heres the book description for The Secret Garden (via Amazon):
The discovery of a neglected garden transforms the life of a sullen and unloved little girl-and everyone around her, too. When the newly orphaned Mary Lennox leaves her native India and arrives at her uncles mansion in Yorkshire, everything seems strange to her. Then Mary hears of a mysterious garden where no one has set foot in 10 years. With the help of some new friends, she plans to uncover its secrets and make it blossom once again.