Five years after the initial success of “Nanny McPhee”, Ema Thompson and producer Lindsay Doran teamed up once again with Working Title Films to create a new chapter of magical and enchanting fairy tale, which delighted children for generations.
“We described the premise for the first installment, “Nanny McPhee” as “magical nanny versus the most terrible seven kids in the world”, explains Lindsey Doran, “and I think that will be the main motif in all these films – the mischievous children and the magical nanny who comes to their aid. The main difference between the first and second installments is that first one speaks of war between children and parents, and the second one of war between children. Nanny McPhee has to teach these kids five new lesions and explain to them not only how to get along but also how to solve problems in ways far more constructive than fighting.
Emma Thompson, who not only plays the lead role, but is also screenwriter and executive producer for the film, started working on an idea for a sequel while first installment was still in production. She spent three years writing the script, all the time trying to maintain the spirit from the original material. Nanny McPhee was initially a nursemaid Matilda, a central character of bedtime stories told in the household of Christianna Brand and her cousin Edward Ardizzone (who illustrated the books on “Nurse Matilda”). The stories were transferred from generation to generation with each generation adding something of its own to the story of mischievous children and a nanny with supernatural powers who comes to tame them. The story and characters might be new, but Nurse Matilda’s/Nanny McPhee’s attributes remain the same – her lesions, her looks which keep changing from hideous to pretty after the kids grow to love her, her magical cane, her need to leave the moment she becomes irreplaceable.