Nicola Coughlan and Jessica Gunning join the cast of ‘The Magic Tree Faraway’

Baby reindeer breakout star Jessica Gunning and The Bridgerton Chronicles singer Nicola Coughlan are the latest additions to the upcoming film adaptation of Enid Blyton’s film The distant magic tree.

Neal Street Productions, Elysian Film Group and Ashland Hill Media Finance announced the news Thursday following the casting of Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy.

Based on The Faraway Tree series of children’s novels, The distant magic tree follows Polly (Foy) and Tim Thompson (Garfield) and their children, Beth, Joe and Fran, who find themselves forced to move to the isolated English countryside. “There, the children discover a magical tree and its extraordinary and eccentric occupants,” we can read in the plot synopsis.

The tree’s inhabitants, capable of transporting visitors to distant and fantastical lands, will be played by Coughlan, who will play the wood fairy Silky, and Nonso Anozie (Sweet tooth, Ted Lasso) as group leader Moonface. Gunning will star as Dame Washalot and Dustin Demri-Burns (Slow horses, Great) like Casserole Man. Rounding out the cast of magical forest dwellers is Mark Heap (Friday evening dinner, The school of good and evil) like Mr. Oom Boom Boom and Oliver Chris (I try, my Lady Jane) like Mr. Watzisname.

British icons Sir Lenny Henry, Michael Palin and Simon Russell Beale have also been announced and will play “a trio of wise mystics from the land of the know-it-alls.”

Adapted by Simon Farnaby (Wonka, Paddington 2), the film will be directed by Ben Gregor (Brittany, Cuckoo, Covert operations, Paternity). Production begins later this month in the UK

Danny Perkins, CEO of Elysian Film Group, said: “Attracting such talented, high-profile figures to this project is a testament to the power of Blyton’s enduring legacy and the continued marketability of her narrative. His work continues to inspire and delight audiences of all ages, around the world. The distant magic tree is one of the most timeless, cherished by generations, and we are honored to bring its magical world to life with such a fantastic cast.

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