What To Expect From The ‘Anne Of Green Gables’ Series Coming To Netflix

What’s better than Netflix and chill? Netflix and classics. A Netflix adaptation of Anne of Green Gables is coming to the network in 2017, with filming due to start next month in Ontario. The series, which is simply called Anne, will be brought to viewers through a partnership between Netflix and Canada’s CBC network — in fact, CBC has first dibs on the show, which will stream worldwide on Netflix once its CBC run ends.

The 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, written by Lucy Maude Montgomery, details the adventures of a free-spirited orphan (Anne Shirley) and her foster family on Prince Edward Island off the coast of Canada. Netflix’s Anne will not only bring the original source material to life, but will also introduce new storylines created just for the show.

Although no actors have been announced for Anne yet, behind-the-scenes names have been revealed — and they’re all women. Emmy winner and Breaking Bad veteran Moira Walley-Beckett is the showrunner and co-executive producer. Her fellow executive producers are Miranda de Pencier, known for her work on the comedy-drama Beginners, Alison Owen, whose work includes producing Shaun of the Dead and Saving Mr. Banks, and Debra Hayward, producer of the Bridget Jones movies, the recent Les Miserables movie, and pretty much every big British movie that plays in America. Niki Caro, director and writer of the award-winning movie Whale Rider, will direct the series premiere.

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At a time when Netflix’s most hyped output is male vigilantes dishing out violence (which, don’t get me wrong, is also awesome), Anne seems like a departure from the network’s usual M.O.

On the other hand, this could be an example of Netflix applying its normal approach to a different kind of property. Anne Shirley is a classic character with her own franchise, after all. The success of Anne of Green Gables allowed Montgomery to build the book into a six-novel series following Anne through coming of age and adulthood. As a result, according to a statement from Vice President of Netflix Elizabeth Bradley, “Anne Shirley is one of Canada’s greatest gifts to the world, known and loved internationally.” The book’s been adapted numerous times for film and TV, while Prince Edward Island has capitalized on the popularity of Montgomery’s books with Anne of Green Gables tourist itineraries. There’s a lot for Netflix to work with.

Whether Anne will get the same viewer numbers or huge marketing buzz as Netflix’s more action-driven shows remains to be seen. However, I suspect there may be considerable interest among viewers looking for something different yet classic, especially when that classic is a girl’s story brought to life by a team of women.