Netflix recently released a trailer for their upcoming series Anne which reimagines the classic 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The novel (and series) depict the adolescent tribulations of Anne Cuthbert Shirley, an imaginative, outgoing orphan who is mistakenly adopted by her much older siblings. Naturally, conflicts arise, but the inventive Anne is able to find new ways of thinking about them and brightens up the lives of those around her.
The trailer shows Anne to be a beautiful, melancholic depiction of childhood innocence (or perhaps its opposite) gorgeously shot in an authentic-feeling early 20th-century setting. The Netflix adaptation of the coming-of-age story is already drawing praise for its rather feminist retelling of the classic children’s story. “Girls can do anything a boy can do – and more!” cries Amybeth McNulty as Anne in the trailer, stealing every scene with her raw, heart-on-her-sleeve performance.
Breaking Bad showrunner Moira Walley-Beckett brings her showrunning expertise to the helm on Anne and wrote all eight episodes. Walley-Beckett told the CBC that the show isn’t meant as a true word-for-word adaptation of the novel, but more as a ‘conversation’ with the original source material. “I wanted to chart some new territory,” Walley-Beckett said, “This is not a period piece with a glossy veneer.” One immediately noticeable difference is that Anne appears to stay the same age throughout the trailer, whereas Anne ages several years throughout the novel. Some outlets have speculated that perhaps this leaves open the possibility of further seasons which continue Anne’s adventures as she ages. Whatever the case may be with the series’ treatment of the novel, daring, creative series like Anne with producers willing to take risks are the reasons behind Netflix’s current domination of the original streaming content market.
Whether or not the story breaks new narrative ground, the trailer certainly feels like a contemporary portrayal, shot with modern flair and a gorgeously desaturated vintage palette against an indie rock soundtrack full of Millennial Whoop melancholy. Anne will debut on Netflix on May 12th, 2017.