Grange Hill is getting a movie this year from its original creator.
Phil Redmond, who created the iconic school-based series as well as Brookside and Hollyoaks, has told The Guardian that he's got a script ready to go, and is looking to begin casting soon, with hopes that former actors would be returning.
The show began in 1978 and covered a wide-range of topics across its run, receiving praise for how it tackled hard-hitting storylines such as drug addiction, teenage pregnancy, sexuality, homelessness, student/teacher relationships, HIV, gun crime, disability, child abuse and cancer, to name a few.
The BBC ended the series after 30 years of continually airing, but Redmond feels like there is plenty still to say.
Redmond, who has spent much of time since 2005 teaching, said: "We’ve been through four school-rebuilding programmes in my lifetime, but it’s not about bricks and mortar, it’s about getting the best out of every pupil.
"How will ripping schools out of communities solve anything? Or making catchment areas so big that kids have to travel miles to be with their friends? That's the thesis of the movie: it's decided the school is costing too much to maintain so it should be knocked down, the land sold and proceeds used to build a new one and replenish local coffers.
"I've always had a strand about kids having the same emotions and fears, aspirations and phobias as everybody else. They only lack the life experience. Rather than riots in the dining hall, this time their voices are heard through social media, a rebuttal unit run by the school geek against council propaganda."
He claims his story has to be told as a movie as he believes television has "lost the wider ambition" and streaming is similarly limited, and also stated that he thinks things like Ackley Bridge and Sex Education "look at the characters in the precinct, not the influence of the wider community".
It's not the first time Redmond has talked about a Grange Hill movie. Back in 2006 he said he was working on a script for a late 2007 release, but that obviously did not materialise.
Classic Grange Hill episodes are available to stream now on Britbox.
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