Even though it was my mother who first introduced me to Anne of Green Gables as a film, it was the novel that made me appreciate the movie adaptation even more. Perhaps the staying power of L.M. Montgomery‘s classic is due in part to Montgomery inserting herself into the title character, Anne Shirley.
Even to this day, however, there have been many odes to Montgomery’s classic tale in pop culture: a museum in Canada, a long-running musical and most recently a stage show in Japan. Even Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks, a blonde at heart, went on record stating her childhood obsession with Anne is what led her to dye her own locks red.
Needless to say, Netflix might have their work cut out for them attempting to revitalize one of the most moving books from our childhood come May 12. Yet, despite our excitement about the new series, Netflix has already earned its first side-eye for allegedly Photoshopping the titular star’s freckled appearance in a recent ad.
With that being said, and our hope intact, I thought it might be a good idea to clue you in on all that’s going on with Netflix’s undertaking on the classic. So here are six things we know for sure about Anne so far:
1. Anne will be an 8-episode drama series
The series will use the same framework as the novel by following a big-hearted 13-year-old orphan as she is mistakenly placed with partnering brother and sister farmers by mistake and proceeds to change the life of everyone around her for the better.
2. Breaking Bad‘s Moira Walley-Beckett and Niki Caro are involved
Caro will direct the two-hour premiere and Walley-Beckett will write and produce and has been quoted saying that her version will be a more “grounded, real version of the story.” Now, “grounded” isn’t a term I would use to describe Anne’s personality. So hopefully she’s just referring to the historic details of the time period.
3. Amybeth McNulty beat out over 1800 other redheads for the lead role of Anne
According to Nerdist, the more you see of her, the more pitch-perfect her casting gets. Amybeth McNulty feels she shares the same love for the world, curiosity and gentle boldness with her new character, Anne.
4. Filming took place on Prince Edward Island and in Ontario, Canada
It would be a travesty if they didn’t film the show in the place that Anne Shirley falls in love with. There are travel packages for P.E.I. specifically designed around the book. Montgomery was both born and buried there as well.
5. This isn’t exactly a remake
Book fans beware, as it’s been said that Anne won’t be a take-by-take remake. It promises to expound certain characters that may have only been mentioned briefly in the book and explore different themes such as identity, bullying, and feminism.
6. There will be more familiar faces than you think
Dalila Bela (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) will play Anne’s bosom friend, Diana, and Corinne Koslo (Sweeny Todd) will fill the role as resident gossip, Rachel Lynde. Other cast members include Geraldine Jones, R.H. Thompson, Matthew Cuthbert, and Lucas Jade Zumann will round out the cast as Gilbert Blythe.