Studio Ponoc has set the English-language cast for its inaugural feature Mary And The Witch’s Flower. Ruby Barnhill, the girl discovered by Steven Spielberg for his The BFG, will lead as Mary with Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent, Ewen Bremner and Louis Ashbourne Serkis also in the main cast.

The story is a blend of magic and fantasy from the Japanese animation house founded by former Studio Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura and in collaboration with director Hiromasa ‘Maro’ Yonebayashi (Arrietty). The filmmaking duo behind the Oscar-nominated When Marnie Was There is due to reveal the surprising adventures of Mary in a school of magic that is not quite what it seems. Lynda Baron, Rasmus Hardiker, Teresa Gallagher and Morwenna Banks round out the cast.

The screenplay was written by Riko Sakaguchi in collaboration with Yonebayashi, and based on the 1971 novel by Mary Stewart, The Little Broomstick. The English screenplay adaptation was written by David Freedman and Lynda Freedman, with the English version produced by Geoffrey Wexler and executive produced by Will Clarke.

Clarke’s Altitude Film Sales is handling worldwide sales on the film. New York-based GKIDS has acquired North American distribution rights, joining Madman Entertainment for Australia and New Zealand and Altitude Film Distribution for the UK.