It has been more than half a century since the beloved British family film The Railway Children came out. And today, Studio Canal announced a sequel called The Railway Children Return, which will start filming next week. The star of the original film, Jenny Agutter, will reprise her role of Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Waterbury.
The highly anticipated sequel stars Sheridan Smith and Tom Courtenay and a new generation of Railway Children.
A plot synopsis reads: “Inspired by one of the most beloved British family films of all time, THE RAILWAY CHILDREN RETURN is an enchanting adventure for a new generation that brings a contemporary feel to a classic story and combines a British cast with stunning locations.
THE RAILWAY CHILDREN RETURN takes the audience on an exciting and heartwarming journey in which a group of children are evacuated during World War II to a Yorkshire village, where they encounter a young soldier who, like her, is far from home. … “
So it looks like the sequel will swap the Edwardian setting of the original a few decades later, as will Mary Poppins Returns – which hit theaters 54 years after the first movie.
READ MORE: You Never Guess What The Railway Children’s Phyllis Looks Like
Jenny Agutter reprises role in The Railway Children Return 50 years after the original film
The Railway Children Movie released in 1970
- The Original Railway Children: Where Are They Now?
Morgan Matthews will direct The Railway Children Return, which will begin shooting on location in the UK from May 10, 2021.
The new film will feature key locations from the first outing, including Oakworth Station, Haworth and The Bronte Parsonage.
In addition, the memorable Keighley and Worth Valley Railway will also appear in the sequel.
The Railway Children Return, written by Danny Brocklehurst, will hit theaters on April 1, 2022.
Sheridan Smith and Tom Courtenay star together in The Railway Children Return
Bernard Cribbins also starred in The Railway Children
Meanwhile, a fully restored 1970s Blu-ray and DVD release of The Railway Children is available, including a retrospective documentary and interviews with key cast members including Agutter, Bernard Cribbins and Sally Thomsett.
Agutter first starred in the BBC’s 1968 TV series at the age of 16, before reprising the role two years later in the feature film version.
Since then, the now 68-year-old has starred in Logan’s Run, An American Werewolf in London and The Eagle Has Landed.
In more recent years, she played Councilwoman Hawley in Marvel blockbusters The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier and is known for her role as Sister Julienne in Call the Midwife.
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The Railway Children was originally a 1906 children’s book by Edith Nesbit.
The plot saw a family move from London to The Three Chimneys’ home near a railway after their father was jailed on trumped-up charges of espionage.
The children known as Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis become friends with a person known as The Old Gentleman, who often takes the 9:15 am train near their house.
And it is he who further helps to prove their father’s innocence and reunite the family.
Meanwhile, The Railway Children sees them take care of a Russian exile named Mr. Szczepansky, who came to England in search of his family.
While also taking care of Jim, the grandson of The Old Gentleman, who breaks his leg in a tunnel.
The first adaptation of the story was a BBC radio dramatization for Children’s Hour, which first aired in 1940, while a TV remake came out in 2000.
Interestingly, this year BBC Radio 4 aired a sequel called The Saving of Albert Perks, with a monologue by Bernard Cribbins. In the storyline, an adult Bobbie returned to Oakworth with two Jewish refugee children who escaped Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport.
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