When Calls the Heart

UPDATE (03/10/2012):
New photos have been uploaded to the Facebook account. The various pictures now confirm that Daniel Sharman is indeed playing the character in a red mountie uniform- who's name is Edward (not Wynn).

The IMDb site is now up and running, it lists both the cast in from the original filming and also those involved in the filming that has just wrapped up this year. The main surprise is that Maggie Grace who was cast as the original Elizabeth Thatcher is now listed as 'Aunt Elizabeth' while Poppy Drayton is listed as 'Elizabeth Thatcher' (see picture below). Although I have no information as to why this is, I cannot help but wonder if the TV series might be focusing on Elizabeth's brother, Jonathan's family. Those who have read the book may remember his youngest daughter in the first book was a baby by the name Elizabeth. Perhaps begins with Elizabeth and Wynn's story/relationship and then moves on as a series to focus on Elizabeth's niece, her life and her relationship with Mountie Edward (which would fit with the information/videos/pictures seen on the Facebook page). Again this is only my personal guess.

snippet of the cast list- as listed on the IMDb site.
*From now on I won't be posting any general information about this film as a new post but instead will be just updating this post. It's getting a little tedious re-writing and flipping back to my other posts, plus this way we can keep all the new info in one tidy place. So keep checking this post for news on this film- any new information will be added to the top of this post with: UPDATE (DD/MM/YYYY). 

An edit I made from the first 'sneek peak' video staring
Maggie Grace and Stephen Amell in the lead roles.

If you aren't aware already, When Calls the Heart is the first novel in author Janette Oke's Canadian West Series (you can read my review of the novel here). Many of her fans have been aware for quite a few years now that this lovely book was being considered to make that exciting transition from page to TV screen. Production stills and cast lists began floating around and sure enough even an IMDb site popped up. Then articles regarding the filming in 2008/2009 lead eagerly awaiting fans to believe that the film had been filmed - and after a period of silence, the closure of the IMDb site rumours and speculations that it had been shelved arose.
Then at the beginning of the this year things started to 'pick up' and there began sparks of hope that the movie may actually be released. Many of you may remember in March earlier this year that I posted (here) an update detailing a flyer which made rounds, with beautiful pictures and a blurb as to what the movie is about.

Then July brought us the most exciting piece of news- a video, posted to the official Facebook page for the movie along with the news we had been waiting for all this time, a release date: ...late spring or early summer, 2013, on the Hallmark Channel.

Since that last post there has been much 'commotion' on the Facebook Page, which I believe is run by screen-writer and producer Brian Bird. Firstly September opened with the status: Filming of "When Calls the Heart" begins tomorrow! More news coming soon! . Throwing, some-what of a curve ball at longstanding fans who believed the film to have already been filmed. However a well-placed comment from the page stating the film was never finished in 2008 due to the financial meltdown in the US. It is all building to a world premiere on the Hallmark Channel in 2013 as the first two-hour episode of what we hope will be a long-running TV series! Stay tuned for more news! put me at ease.

Pictures shown on the Flyer  with Wynn Delaney (Stephen Amell) and Elizabeth Thatcher (Maggie Grace) in When Calls the Heart (Image Credit:  aBridge International)

Those who in recent times have checked the page may have seen that it is now full of new 'on-set' photos and several 'behind-the-scenes' videos. Which is lovely for the fans. However it does not take one long to notice the change in cast, Maggie Grace who was originally cast as Elizabeth Thatcher and appears in the very first video has now been replaced by actress Poppy Drayton. In addition actor Lee Williams is featured alongside Poppy as Mr. Higgins in some of the photos appearing on the page, I am unsure as to who originally portrayed Mr Higgins but I believe that this is also a re-cast. It is highly likely that the rest of the original cast have also been replaced, which is, of course, to be expected after such a long gap in filming.

 Knowing me as you all do you can be assured that I have been checking daily (perhaps more than daily) on any update on who may be cast as the 'new' Wynn Delaney. Actor Stephen Amell appears as the original Wynn alongside Maggie Grace's Elizabeth, I must admit that I will find it very hard to accept anyone as Wynn other than Stephen, because the last 3 times I have read the book I was aware of his being cast as Wynn and therefore my mental image of the dashing mountie is highly influenced by Stephen's physical appearance.

A behind the scenes clip of WCTH shows Elizabeth
and a young man in uniform being robbed.

The only casting news I have thus far heard in terms of a male who may fit the 'Wynn' role is in a Twitter comment from, the aforementioned Brian Bird on the 12th of August saying 'Teen Wolf's Daniel Sharman signs up for double duty as co-star of series pilot #WhenCallsTheHeart.' Daniel's bright blue eyes and sharp handsome looks do lead one to believe that the young man may indeed be our new Wynn. However there is no official word on the role, so of course I may be entirely wrong-  I am just speculating. But please take a look, I'd love to hear what you think. Also keep in mind the video uploaded today (Aug 22) which shows a 'Behind-the-scenes [...] clip of Elizabeth Thatcher's stagecoach being robbed on the journey west to Alberta.'  If you look closely you can see a young man lying on the ground behind Elizabeth (Poppy Drayton) dressed in what I can only assume to be a Canadian Mountie's uniform , which leads me to believe it is Wynn. I cannot see the actors face clearly but from a casual glance it is possible it could (I use that term very lightly) be Sharman?

The film is now a wrap and with the principal photography done it is in the stage of post-production. I am still a little confused as to how the movie/series will work. With the combining of the past footage with the new footage and with the numerous changes in cast (not to mention the obvious change in hair colour from one Elizabeth to the next)- but I am still eagerly awaiting this series and desperately hope that it stays as true as possible to the Janette Oke's original novel and wish all the best for it's success.        

God Bless and Much Love,

Mel xx

Note: I recently moved houses so here I am, once again, apologising for my neglect of this blog. Now that we have settled properly in, I will be able to get back to normal and within the next few weeks I will be posting some various book reviews along with, an update post about a Gown of Spanish Lace, a nice little Robin Hood (BBC) post and perhaps a more detailed post updating you all on my life (and the changes since moving).


Anonymous said...

I am sooooo excited about this movie/series. Here's what I'm hoping will happen. [Mind you I have no inside information, just my observations of what I've seen around the web.] The two hour movie will hopefully be the original one they filmed in 2008 or 2009 starring Maggie Grace and Stephen Amell. The short clip that is on the FB page shows clips of all the major moments of the movie -- coyotes, throwing water on the furnace, mice in the house, loss of the Andy, recovery of Phillip, Wynn leaving...it seems like they shot the whole film. Perhaps they didn't have the funds to complete post production. Then the movie will be the jumping off point for the series -- starring Poppy Drayton as Elizabeth and rest of the new cast. It seems virtually impossible for them to film a brand new movie with a new cast over the last couple of months. I think they may have filmed the pilot episode of the series. This is my guess at what will happen as well as my deepest hope. Thanks for all the info you've been sharing.

Net, the Movie Blogger said...

Hello Mel!

Hallmark just recently released an official premiere air date in the US for the When Calls the Heart movie: October 5, 2013!

And, the weekly TV Series will begin on the Hallmark Channel in January of 2014!

Do you have the Hallmark Channel in Australia?

I think this is most exciting news! It will be wonderful to have a new prairie series and I adored the Janette Oke books so I can't wait to see how they develop these wonderful characters!

God bless you and I so enjoyed your lovely site - I became a Follower!