Crook, who made his name in the BBC comedy The Office and created The Detectorists, is adapting Barbara Euphan Todd into two-hour long films. He will star as Gummidge, a scarecrow that can come to life.
The first film, The Scarecrow Of Scatterbrook, sees two young strangers, Susan and John, arrive in the village of Scatterbrook, where they encounter Gummidge. Their world is sent spinning into confusion when they realize Gummidge comes to life. The only person more shocked is Worzel, when he discovers that the children are not in fact fellow scarecrows but humans.
The second film, The Green Man, welcomes another mysterious arrival to Scatterbrook. The Green Man is the creator of scarecrows and keeper of scarecrow lore. He isn’t at all happy that Worzel is consorting with humans.
Leopard Pictures produces in association with Crook’s Treasure Trove Productions and Lola Entertainment. It will air on BBC One later this year around Christmas and is exec produced by Kristian Smith for Leopard Pictures, Lisa Thomas for Lola Entertainment and Mackenzie Crook for Treasure Trove Productions. It is produced by Georgie Fallon and Alex Moody is the Commissioning Editor for the BBC. It was commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning for the BBC, and Charlotte Moore, Director of Content for the BBC.
Crook said, “I’m thrilled to be back working with the BBC and many members of the Detectorists team to bring Worzel Gummidge to a new generation of viewers and reintroduce him to old friends. Adapting Barbara Euphan Todd’s books into these two films has been a joy and I’ve completely fallen for her charming, irreverent scarecrow. Fingers crossed for a glorious English summer as we head out to Scatterbrook Farm and Worzel’s Ten Acre Field.”
Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning at the BBC, added, “Mackenzie’s widely adored and multi-Bafta award winning Detectorists was a grown up love letter to bucolic England and with Worzel he takes a similar approach to English folklore, rural rites and the magic of childhood. His visionary and fundamental reinterpretation of this classic is that rare and special achievement – a BBC One family friendly comedy.”