Cannes: Global Road Buys 'The Secret Garden' for North America

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Colin Firth

Colin Firth and Julie Walters star in the children's book adaptation from 'Harry Potter' producer David Heyman.

Global Road Entertainment, Donald Tang's ambitious new mini-major, has picked up North American distribution rights to the new adaptation of the British children’s classic The Secret Garden, starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters.

Global Road nabbed the title from StudioCanal, which is producing together with Heyday Films, and selling internationally.

Based on the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel, Secret Garden stars newcomer Dixie Egerickx as the unloved Mary Lennox, sent to England after the death of her parents in India to live with her uncle Archibald (Firth) on his isolated country estate. Marc Munden (TV's Utopia) is directing. 

Harry Potter producer David Heyman and Rosie Alison of Heyday Film are producing, with Didier Lupfer, Danny Perkins and Dan MacRae executive producing for StudioCanal. Shooting kicked off last week in the U.K..

"The Secret Garden is one of the world’s most beloved stories of all time celebrating friendship, nature and the limitless power of childhood imagination," said Global Road chairman and CEO Rob Friedman, who announced the deal Saturday.

The pact marks the first major acquisition in Cannes by Global Road, which launched last year via the merger of production-sales operation IM Global and U.S. distributor Open Road.

The company has been slowly stocking up on titles for its domestic slate, acquiring U.S. rights to Constantin Film's upcoming thriller The Silence, starring Stanley Tucci and Miranda Otto, and North American rights to Lionsgate’s Johnny Depp starrer City of Lies.

A version of this story appears in The Hollywood Reporter's May 13 daily issue from the Cannes Film Festival.