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Paddington team to adapt Blyton book

by Lacey Stephens
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Image copyright Hachette
Image caption The books are set in a fantasy world in the sky

Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree is being brought to life on the big screen for the first time.

StudioCanal, which was behind the Paddington films, is joining forces with Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions, for a live action adaptation of the book series.

The tales follow a group of children’s adventures at the top of a tree in an enchanted forest.

Blyton wrote the Faraway Tree books between 1939 and 1951.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Blyton (centre) is one of the world’s best-selling children’s authors

The characters in the stories included Silky the fairy, Moonface, Dame Washalot and Saucepan Man.

Simon Farnaby, who will write the adaptation and was also behind the Paddington 2 screenplay, said: “The Magic Faraway Tree books are a firework display of the imagination.

“The pages are lit up with wonderful characters, humour, peril and adventure. Most homes have a well-worn jam-fingerprinted volume somewhere on their shelves.

“I’m very much looking forward to bringing the likes of the Old Saucepan Man and Dame Washalot to the big screen for fans both old and new.”

Image copyright StudioCanal
Image caption Paddington 2 was recently released in the UK

Danny Perkins of StudioCanal UK described Blyton’s work as “timeless”, saying he’d “loved her writing since childhood”.

He added: “Not unlike the work of Michael Bond CBE, we very much look forward to bringing enduring family classics to audiences worldwide.”

Blyton is one of the world’s best-selling children’s authors and her books have sold more than 500 million copies. She died in 1968.

The four novels that have been optioned for film adaptation are The Enchanted Wood, The Magic Faraway Tree, The Folk of the Faraway Tree and Up the Faraway Tree.

Previous films from Neal Street Productions include Oscar-nominated Revolutionary Road, Starter for Ten and Jarhead. It also makes BBC series Call The Midwife.

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Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42053334

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