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.