Universal Pictures and Working Title Films – in association with Three Strange Angels Productions – announced today that principal photography begins early next month on Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang. Oscar®-winning actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson (Nanny McPhee, Sense and Sensibility) returns to the role of the magical nanny who appears when she’s wanted the least and needed the most in the next chapter of the hilarious and heartwarming fable that has enchanted children around the world.
The family comedy will be directed by BAFTA winner Susanna White (television’s Bleak House, Generation Kill, Jane Eyre). Also returning to the series are BAFTA-winning and Oscar®-nominated producers Lindsay Doran (Nanny McPhee, Stranger Than Fiction, Sense and Sensibility) – in her fifth collaboration with Thompson – and Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (see credits below). In addition to starring and writing, Thompson will executive produce, along with Working Title’s Debra Hayward and Liza Chasin.
In the latest installment, Nanny McPhee jumps forward in time and appears at the door of a harried young mother who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war. But once she’s arrived, Nanny McPhee discovers that Mrs. Green’s children are fighting a war of their own against two nasty, snobby cousins who have just moved in and refuse to leave. From flying motorcycles and statues that come to life to a tree-climbing piglet and a baby elephant that turns up in the oddest places, Nanny McPhee uses her magic to teach her mischievous charges five new lessons.
Joining Thompson and Gyllenhaal for the project are Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill, The Boat That Rocked) as Mrs. Green’s villainous brother-in-law, Phil; Asa Butterfield (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) as Mrs. Green’s eldest son, Norman; and legendary two-time Academy Award®-winning actress Dame Maggie Smith (Becoming Jane, Harry Potter series) as the somewhat befuddled Mrs. Docherty. Two-time Academy Award®-nominated actor Ralph Fiennes (The Constant Gardener, Harry Potter series) lends his talents for a cameo in the film.
Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, based on characters created by “Nurse Matilda” author Christianna Brand, is written by Emma Thompson, the Academy®-, Emmy-, BAFTA- and WGA Award-winning actress and screenwriter. As a performer, Thompson’s projects include Howards End, The Remains of the Day, Stranger Than Fiction and Last Chance Harvey. As a screenwriter, she’s crafted Nanny McPhee, Sense and Sensibility, and television’s Wit, among others. She is currently penning a new adaptation of My Fair Lady.
Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang’s behind-the-scenes team is an accomplished group including Oscar® winner Peter King (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Nanny McPhee), who returns to re-create the title character’s signature hair and makeup; Oscar®-nominated costume designer Jacqueline Durran (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice); and Oscar®-nominated composer Thomas Newman (Finding Nemo, WALL-E, Revolutionary Road).
Director White has brought on longtime collaborators for her key crew, including British Independent Film Award-winning cinematographer Mike Eley (television’s Jane Eyre and Grey Gardens, Touching the Void) and BAFTA TV Award-winning production designer Simon Elliott (television’s Bleak House, Brick Lane).