While we’d wager the words Winnie-the-Pooh will most likely bring to mind Disney’s much-loved animated incarnation, it seems there’s a new and very different cinematic interpretation of A.A. Milne’s classic characters headed our way. Looking at recently released screenshots, it appears the film will revolve around a homicidal – rather than silly – old bear. With a title like Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey, it should surprise no one to learn that director/writer/producer Rhys Frake-Waterfield’s project will transform the Hundred Acre Wood from a magical playground into the stuff of nightmares.
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Perhaps disappointingly, this movie is not the result of some burned Disney+ executive funding the project in an act of anarchic self-sabotage. Rather, it’s due to Winnie-the-Pooh slipping into public domain on January 1st of this year – an uncharacteristic oversight from Disney – meaning just about anyone can now use the characters in any way they wish.
According to its synopsis, the film “follows Pooh and Piglet as they go on a rampage after Christopher Robin abandons them.” Frake-Waterfield expanded on this premise while speaking with Variety, saying, “Christopher Robin is pulled away from them, and he’s not (given) them food, it’s made Pooh and Piglet’s life quite difficult. Because they’ve had to fend for themselves so much, they’ve essentially become feral. So they’ve gone back to their animal roots. They’re no longer tame: they’re like a vicious bear and pig who want to go around and try and find prey.”
Sadly, only Pooh and Piglet will make an appearance this time around, as other characters like Tigger are yet to enter public domain. However, Eeyore the deeply depressed donkey will be missing in action for a rather more grisly reason – Variety reports the film features a scene in which his tombstone appears, having met his end at the hands of a starving Pooh and Piglet.
We’ll definitely be keen to check out Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey when it’s finally released – the release date is still TBD according to Jagged Edge Productions – but Waterfield is keen to insist this is not a film for young fans of Pooh Bear: “When you see the cover for this and you see the trailers and the stills and all that, there’s no way anyone is going to think this is a child’s version of it.”