Colin Firth and Julie Walters will star in new ‘The Secret Garden’ adaptation

Filming has begun on a new movie version of classic children’s novel The Secret Garden, from the makers of Paddington.

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s much-loved story was first published in 1910 and has been adapted by playwright Jack Thorne for the big screen.

The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child writer has updated the story from the Edwardian era to 1947, setting the movie shortly after World War 2, at the time of Partition in India.

Director Marc Munden commented: “This is a fantastical reimagining of The Secret Garden. I can’t wait to explore it. It’s an opportunity to immerse ourselves in an uncanny and wondrous world, which will play to the imaginations of adults and children alike.”

Paddington producer David Heyman added: “I’m delighted to be working again with Studiocanal on The Secret Garden, brought so vividly to life by writer Jack Thorne. I’m excited that our director, Marc Munden, will be bringing his distinct imaginative vision to this enduring childhood story. And I could not be more thrilled that Colin Firth and Julie Walters have joined the journey, alongside a remarkable new trio of young actors.”

The Secret Garden follows the story of Mary Lennox, a sickly and unloved 10-year-old girl, born in India to wealthy British parents who never wanted her. Brought up by servants, she becomes spoiled and selfish. When her parents and the servants are killed by a cholera epidemic, Mary is sent to Yorkshire, England, to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven, at his isolated house, Misselthwaite Manor.

Colin Firth will play Archibald Craven, alongside Julie Walters (Mamma Mia) as Mrs Medlock, the head housekeeper.

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s original The Secret Garden novel is available on Amazon.