Tag Archives: Moira Walley-Beckett

CBC and Netflix renew Anne for a second season

From a media release:

CBC and Netflix today announced they have renewed acclaimed series ANNE (WITH AN E) for a second season. Produced by Miranda de Pencier’s Northwood Entertainment, the second season sees an increased order from eight hours to 10 and begins shooting this fall. Adored by audiences and critics alike, this reimagined coming-of-age story follows Anne (Amybeth McNulty), an outsider who, against all odds, fights for love, acceptance, and her place in the world. Season two of the series (known as ANNE in Canada, and ANNE WITH AN E on Netflix) returns in 2018.

Inspired by the timeless Canadian young adult novel Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, the second season will continue to chart bold new territory, adding new characters and storylines and continuing to explore themes of identity, prejudice, feminism, bullying, gender parity and empowerment through the lens of its fierce, starry-eyed, irrepressible 14-year-old protagonist.

The series stars Amybeth McNulty (Anne Shirley), Geraldine James (Marilla Cuthbert), R.H. Thomson (Matthew Cuthbert), Corrine Koslo (Rachel Lynde), Dalila Bela (Diana Barry), Aymeric Jett Montaz (Jerry Baynard) and Lucas Jade Zumann (Gilbert Blythe).

For season two, three-time Emmy® Award-winning series creator Moira Walley-Beckett (BREAKING BAD, FLESH AND BONE) has assembled an exceptionally talented all-female writers’ room. Episodes will be written by Moira Walley-Beckett, Jane Maggs (BELLEVUE, CARDINAL), Shernold Edwards (HAVEN, SLEEPY HOLLOW), Kathryn Borel (RUSH, AMERICAN DAD), Amanda Fahey (SAVING HOPE, MOHAWK GIRLS), and Naledi Jackson (21 THUNDER, THE DETAIL).

A CBC and Netflix original series, ANNE (WITH AN E) is produced by Northwood Entertainment, and created by Moira Walley-Beckett. The executive producers are Miranda de Pencier, Moira Walley-Beckett, Sally Catto, Elizabeth Bradley, Alex Sapot, Debra Hayward, and Alison Owen. John Calvert serves as producer. ANNE (WITH AN E) is inspired by “Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

 

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Anne signs off with emotional season finale

It seems like just yesterday Anne debuted on CBC and now, all of a sudden, Sunday’s season finale is upon us. While much of Moira Walley-Beckett’s interpretation has been faithful to L.M. Montgomery’s tome, there have been deviations from the source material, most notably the death of Gilbert Blythe’s father, rendering him an orphan just like Anne.

Overall, I’ve been very impressed with the tone, cinematography and performances, particularly Amybeth McNulty’s take on our flame-haired heroine. But, really, everyone has been stellar and these first eight episodes have merely whet my appetite for more. Alas, nothing has been announced yet and we’ll have to settle for Sunday’s episode for now.

Here’s what CBC says about “Wherever you are is my home,” written by Walley-Beckett and directed by Amanda Tapping:

On the verge of losing the farm, the Cuthberts must do whatever it takes to save it. Anne is reminded of the strength of friendship and love.
And he’s what else we can tell you after watching a screener of the episode.
It’s Christmas in Avonlea
That’s no surprise if you’ve seen Sunday’s teaser or the image above, but there’s no Yuletide cheer at the farm as Marilla and Matthew struggle to pay their debts. Will there be a Christmas miracle or a chunk of coal at the bottom of Anne’s stocking?
Road trip!
An unlikely pair goes on an important journey and learn more about themselves—and each other—on the way. Keep your eyes open for veteran actors Daniel Kash in a key scene as well as showrunner Walley-Beckett in a blink-and-you’ll-miss her moment.
Geraldine James and R. H. Thomson are amazing
The pair has been stellar as Marilla and Matthew all season, but James and Thomson ratchet up their performances on Sunday in several jaw-droppingly good scenes. While we’re on it, McNulty and James share some emotional moments too. Better keep the tissues handy, folks.
What did you think of the first season of Anne? Are you wanting more? Comment below!

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Anne of Green Gables given fresh new life in CBC’s Anne

It took me just 40 seconds into the first episode of CBC’s Anne—debuting Sunday at 8 p.m.—to realize this iteration of the Anne of Green Gables story was going to be different.

A sweeping shot of Matthew Cuthbert (R.H. Thomson) riding a thundering horse in the surf and a train whistle echoing in the distance immediately cut to the opening credits. The credits themselves are noteworthy, with Anne Shirley’s sayings scrawled into arty, enhanced tree limbs as The Tragically Hip’s “Ahead by a Century” plays. L.M. Montgomery’s iconic heroine is indeed over 100 years old, but hasn’t showed her age. Or her importance.

R.H. Thomson as Matthew Cuthbert

“What didn’t exist was an ongoing series where we got to spend more time with Anne,” says executive producer Miranda de Pencier. “The way the British repatriate their classics for new generations, we wanted to make our own version of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables that felt relevant to today.”

“It feels like this is the perfect moment in time to re-explore and re-examine Anne for today,” says fellow executive producer, writer and showrunner Moira Walley-Beckett. “There are such desperate issues right now, of gender parity, women’s rights—not to mention the issues that are inherent in the book of prejudice and bullying—what does it mean to be from away? To be an outsider and unaccepted? These were all issues that we thought were incredibly timely.”

Sunday’s two-hour debut is stunning visually. A cherry tree is a riot of colour against a pine forest as Anne sits outside the train station waiting for Matthew to pick her up. Waves crash against ruddy red cliffs. Big skies abound.

Geraldine James as Marilla Cuthbert

The performances are stellar too. Amybeth McNulty, of course, does most of the heavy lifting as Anne and doesn’t look out of place next to Geraldine James’ Marilla Cuthbert or Thomson’s Matthew. Anne is the creative and imaginative girl generations recognize, but Walley-Beckett’s script gives her an edge: flashbacks to abuse at the Hammonds are stark and scary. Thomson’s take on Matthew is a good one. Like the books, he’s reserved and quiet (Martin Sheen’s portrayal in the YTV TV-movies is decidedly more chatty.), and stooped shoulders make the lanky actor appear shorter than he really is. Other cast include Dalila Bela as Anne’s best bud, Diana Barry; Corrine Koslo as resident snoop Rachel Lynde; Aymeric Jett Montaz as farmhand Jerry Maynard; and Lucas Jade Zumann as Gilbert Blythe.

McNulty is simply charming in the lead role, able to exude enthusiasm, intelligence and a healthy dose of moxie without being annoying. You can’t help but smile when she utters a soliloquy that leaves Matthew nonplussed and Marilla shaking her head.

“Amybeth is fiercely bright and independent, spirited and incredibly sensitive and also has a worldly perspective, which is something we touch on again and again in Anne,” Walley-Beckett says. “She was it.”

See if you agree on Sunday.

Anne airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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CBC announces debut date for Anne; plus photo gallery & teaser trailer!

Mark your calendars Anne of Green Gables fans! CBC announced that Season 1 of Anne is set to debut Sunday, March 19, at 8 p.m. on the public broadcaster.

Written and executive-produced by Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad), Anne stars Amybeth McNulty in the title role. Geraldine James and R.H. Thomson portray Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert.

We visited the set recently, so look for interviews from the cast and executive producers closer to airdate.

Check out the photo gallery of the key cast:

And the teaser trailer!

Here are CBC’s official notes on the project:

ANNE is a coming-of-age story about an outsider who, against all odds and many challenges, fights for love and acceptance and her place in the world. Set in Prince Edward Island in the late 1890s, the series centers on Anne Shirley (Amybeth McNulty), a young orphaned girl who, after an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and the homes of strangers, is mistakenly sent to live with an aging sister and brother. Over time, 13-year-old Anne will transform the lives of Marilla (Geraldine James) and Matthew Cuthbert (R.H. Thomson) and eventually the entire small town in which they live with her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination. Anne’s adventures will reflect timeless and topical issues including themes of identity, feminism, bullying and prejudice.

ANNE is executive produced by Moira Walley-Beckett (three-time Emmy® and Golden Globe award winner, Breaking Bad, Flesh & Bone) and Miranda de Pencier (Beginners, Thanks for Sharing), under her Northwood Entertainment banner. Walley-Beckett is penning the entire first season of the series and serves as showrunner. ANNE is produced by Northwood Entertainment for CBC and Netflix.

Anne debuts Sunday, March 19, at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Related: Check out our interview with Walley-Beckett during the cross-Canada Anne auditions.

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Additional cast confirmed for CBC and Netflix series Anne

From a media release:

CBC, Netflix and Northwood Entertainment today announced the casting of beloved characters Diana Barry, Rachel Lynde and Gilbert Blythe in the upcoming eight x one-hour drama series ANNE. Based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s timeless classic novel Anne of Green Gables, ANNE continues production in Ontario, Canada until February 2017 and will premiere later  in the year on CBC in Canada and globally – everywhere outside of Canada – on Netflix.

Talented young Canadian Dalila Bela (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Once Upon a Time), who recently reprised her role as ‘Agent Olive’ in Odd Squad: The Movie following a successful series run in addition to landing a co-starring role in The Adventure Club, has been cast as the loveable Diana Barry, Anne’s loyal friend and kindred spirit. Acclaimed Canadian theatre veteran Corrine Koslo (The Shaw Festival’s Come Back Little Sheba, Sweeney Todd and feature film Best in Show) steps into the role of Rachel Lynde, Avonlea’s resident gossip. Montreal native Aymeric Jett Montaz (Bellevue, Just for Laughs Gags!) also joins the cast as Jerry Baynard, a hired farmhand mentioned in passing in the novel who now features prominently in the new series. Currently receiving rave reviews in Mike Mills’ upcoming feature 20th Century Women opposite Annette Bening, Lucas Jade Zumann (Sense8) will portray handsome and confident Gilbert Blythe, a fellow classmate and Anne’s academic rival.

The new cast join previously announced cast members Amybeth McNulty (Morgan, Agatha Raisin, The Sparticle Mystery) as the iconic Anne Shirley and award-winning actors Geraldine James OBE (Sherlock Holmes, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and R.H. Thomson (Chloe, The Englishman’s Boy) as Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert.

ANNE is a coming-of-age story about an outsider who, against all odds and numerous challenges, fights for love and acceptance and her place in the world. The series centers on a young orphaned girl in the late 1890s who, after an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and the homes of strangers, is mistakenly sent to live with an aging sister and brother. Over time, 13-year-old Anne will transform their lives and eventually the entire small town in which they live with her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination. Charting new territory, Anne and the rest of the characters will experience adventures reflecting timeless and topical issues including themes of identity, feminism, bullying and prejudice.

ANNE is executive produced by Moira Walley-Beckett (three-time Emmy® and Golden Globe award winner, Breaking Bad, Flesh & Bone) and Miranda de Pencier (Beginners, Thanks for Sharing), under her Northwood Entertainment banner. Walley-Beckett is penning the entire first season of the series and serves as showrunner.

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