New Anne of Green Gables movie to air on Islander Day

Dave Stewart
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Breakthrough Entertainment released this publicity shot of its new movie, "Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables", starring, from left, Sara Botsford as Marilla, Ella Ballentine as Anne and Martin Sheen as Matthew.

It seems rather appropriate that Anne Shirley will once again grace televisions screens across Canada on Islander Day.

Lucy Maud Montgomery's iconic Anne of Green Gables eight-novel series, which has been adapted for television, film and stage more than two dozen times, will be told again in a new TV production.

YTV will air "Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables'' on Monday, Feb. 15, which just happens to be a statutory holiday geared for families in the author's home province.

The movie will star Martin Sheen, best known for his role as President Jed Bartlett on the NBC television show "The West Wing'', as Matthew Cuthbert. Sara Botsford will play his stern sister, Marilla, while Canadian actor Ella Ballentine fills the shoes of Anne Shirley.

"We are very, very excited,'' says Brenda Gallant, director of marketing communications for the Department of Tourism.

Anytime Anne hits the big or small screen, the province benefits. When Japan aired a TV drama a few ago about the first Japanese translator of the novel, the number of Japanese tourists to P.E.I. went up almost 300 per cent. More than 60 million viewers in Japan watched the drama.

According to the Canadian Tourism Commission, Japanese visitors booked 6,706 rooms in hotels and other accommodations between January and September 2014, up 117 per cent in one year and the highest number, up to that point at least, in 10 years.

Gallant says there's no question Anne raises awareness of P.E.I., calling the character and Montgomery the province's best ambassadors.

"She was so eloquent in her description of the beauty of P.E.I.''

News also broke this week that CBC will begin production this spring on an eight-episode TV series that will hit the airwaves in 2017. Not much is known yet about how true to Montgomery's books it will be.

However, the YTV television movie appears to be the classic tale that so many love.

Montgomery's granddaughter, Kate MacDonald Butler, served as an executive producer on the project and has given her full approval of the final product.

The P.E.I. government also helped out with the YTV production, providing footage and information. YTV also did some filming in the province.

Tourism commercials about P.E.I. will likely air during the movie.

Gallant says tourism marketing is an extremely competitive business and the province will gladly use whatever edge it can get to bring people in.



Organizations: Department of Tourism, Canadian Tourism Commission, CBC

Geographic location: Green Gables, P.E.I., Canada Montgomery Japan

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Recent comments

  • Rachel Jacobs
    February 19, 2016 - 19:36

    I LOVE THIS MADE FOR TV MOVIE VERSION, THAT AIR ON YTV LAST SUNDAY EVENING. I LIKE IT BETTER, THEY THE ONE IN THE MID 80s, the one with Meghan Follow was great, but this was 10 time better. I love the little girl, who play Anne and also like the facts, that kids characters were closer in age , they the one in the 80s, and like the boy who played Gilbert Blythe in the YTV version, it one of my favoriute seace, Martin Sheen, was also great as Matthew C. I wish they make that version into a minseries.

  • kelley mobley
    January 16, 2016 - 09:07

    Making a remake is all fine and good but there is only one Marilla, one Mathew and one Ann with an e

  • CJD
    January 16, 2016 - 09:07

    God help us. From what I've read, it's set in 1907, while Anne is set in the 1870s. Not to mention there will only be cut ins of PEI. We don't need more Ontario mutton passing as PEI lamb. Why can't people who want to recreate Anne read the damned book?

  • Michelle Crouch
    January 15, 2016 - 23:47

    dear god

  • Stacey Towns
    January 15, 2016 - 13:55

    Will this end up being viewable on any channels I the states?