There’s a new adaptation of “The Secret Garden” coming to theaters. 

The Secret Garden 2020, courtesy STX

This time, the setting of the period drama based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 children’s novel gets shifted to the eve of Partition of India, during the aftermath of World War II in Britain. Here’s everything we know, including plot, cast, and premiere date. We also have a trailer.





What is The Secret Garden about?

“The Secret Garden” tells the story of Mary Lennox, a prickly and unloved 10-year-old girl, born in India to wealthy British parents. When they suddenly die, she is sent back to England to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven on his remote country estate deep in the Yorkshire moors.

There, she begins to uncover many family secrets, particularly after meeting her bedridden cousin Colin, who has been shut away in a wing of the house. Together, these two damaged, slightly misfit children heal each other through their discovery of a wondrous secret garden, lost in the grounds of Misselthwaite Manor, a magical place of adventure that will change their lives forever.

Who Stars in The Secret Garden?

“The Secret Garden” stars Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, Pride and Prejudice) as Archibald Craven and Julie Walters (Indian Summers, Becoming Jane) as Mrs. Medlock, the head housekeeper at Misselthwaite, alongside Dixie Egerickx (Genius, Churchill’s Secret) as Mary Lennox.

Edan Hayhurst (Genius) plays Mary’s sickly cousin. Amir Wilson (The Letter for the King) joins the cast as Dickon, as does Isis Davis (EastEnders) as Martha. “Carnival Row’s” Maeve Dermody takes on the role of Alice.

Where can I watch the trailer?

The first teaser trailer has been released, see the end of the article. 

When does The Secret Garden premiere?

The British period drama will be released in cinemas in the spring of 2020. Stay tuned for news about it being available to stream. 

Will this adaptation be like the book?

The 2020 version of the story is a new take on the classic children’s novel. Brought forward from a setting of just after the end of the 19th century, the movie is set in a new time period of 1947 England. The narrative unwinds on the eve of Partition in India, (the division of colonial India into two separate states), and in the aftermath of WW2 in Britain.

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel was adapted by British writer and producer Jack Thorne, who also penned the upcoming period drama “The Aeronauts.” Marc Munden (The Crimson Petal and the White, Vanity Fair) directs this new adaptation.

The movie is being billed as a dramatic fantasy with a “fresh take,” and it is being brought to us by STUDIOCANAL and Heyday, who together have worked on “some of the most popular and well received family films of the last decade.”

What other adaptations of The Secret Garden are available?

The BBC adapted a 7-episode television series version of “The Secret Garden” in 1975, which starred Sarah Hollis Andrews as Mary. 

This is the second movie adaptation of “The Secret Garden” starring Colin Firth; the first was a 1987 TV movie starring Gennie James as Mary. In this “Hallmark Hall of Fame” series Firth played the adult Colin Craven, the son of Archibald Craven (the character he portrays in the 2020 film).

“The Secret Garden” (1993) starred Kate Maberly as Mary Lennox, Maggie Smith as Mrs. Medlock, and John Lynch as Lord Archibald Craven. Watch the TRAILER

A steampunk update of the classic tale by Frances Hodgson Burnett was released in 2017, and starred Glennellen Anderson as Mary.

There is also a follow up movie Back to the Secret Garden (2000), and The Secret Garden (1949), starring Margaret O’Brien.

Watch the trailer for “The Secret Garden” 2020 below.

If you enjoyed this post, wander over to The Period Films List. You’ll especially like the Best Period Dramas: Family Friendly List.