The Amazing Mr Blunden

UK 2021, 90 mins
Director: Mark Gatiss

+ Q&A with writer-director-actor Mark Gatiss and actors Tamsin Greig and Simon Callow, hosted by Mark Kermode.

Starring Simon Callow (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love) as Mr Blunden with Mark Gatiss and Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner, Episodes) as Mr and Mrs Wickens. It introduces Tsion Habte and Jason Rennie as Lucy and Jamie Allen, alongside India Fowler and Xavier Wilkins as Sara and Georgie Latimer, and Spike Fearn as Tom.

Christmas adventure arrives for London teenagers Jamie and Lucy Allen in the form of a mysterious old man, Mr Blunden, who offers their mum the opportunity to become the caretaker of a ruined country house – one that’s said to be haunted. Within its neglected, overgrown grounds, Jamie and Lucy have an encounter with what appears to be a pair of ghost children. But these spooky kids, Sara and Georgie, aren’t actually ghosts. They’ve travelled forwards in time to seek help, believing they’re going to be murdered by the wicked Mr and Mrs Wickens. And Lucy and Jamie’s strange visitor seems to be the key to it all. With his help, they must travel back to 1821 to save Sara and Georgie and redeem their remorseful new friend – The Amazing Mr Blunden.

Jon Mountague, Director of Comedy, Sky Studios, said: ‘When we learnt that the incomparable Mark Gatiss wanted to update this absolute classic for the 21st century, we thought all our Christmases had come at once. The Amazing Mr Simon Callow and Tamsin Greig complete a trio of national treasures, and introducing an incredible young cast alongside, we couldn’t be prouder – roll on Christmas!’

Mark Gatiss, director, said: ‘To me, everything about The Amazing Mr Blunden is magical. A ghost story with a sentimental heart. A costume drama with a time-travelling twist. Scary villains, melancholy, laughter and joy. I first came across the wonderful original film at primary school when it was shown on a battered old projector on that most hallowed of occasions – the last Friday before the Christmas holidays. In our new version, as in the book, the Allen family are very much from the modern world. I can’t wait to share the adventure with a whole new audience’.

Director: Mark Gatiss
Executive Produced by: Adorable Media, Can Do Productions, Handmade Films, Jon Mountague
Producers: Isibéal Balance, Richelle Wilder
Written by: Mark Gatiss
Director or Photography: David Higgs
Editor: Mark Everson
Production Designer: Chris Richmond
Costume Designer: Helen Bolter
Make-up Designer: Jutta Russell
Composer: Blair Mowat

Simon Callow (Mr Blunden)
Tamsin Greig (Mrs Wickens)
Mark Gatiss (Mr Wickens)
Tsion Habte (Lucy Allen)
Jason Rennie (Jamie Allen)
Xavier Wilkins (Georgie Latimer)
India Fowler (Sara Latimer)
Spike Fearn (Tom)
Vinette Robinson (Christine Allen)
Sam Spruell (Uncle Bertie)
Kitty Archer (Bella Wickens)
Amanda Lawrence (Meakin)
Elliott Levey (Claverton)
Sam Barnett (Smith)
Liz White (Jill Tucker)
Sean Gilder (Dave Tucker)
Katherine Jackways (Julie)
Raj Ghatak (Dr Hugh)

UK 2021
90 mins

A Sky Max production

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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
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