This isn’t the Winnie the Pooh you grew up with.
In an interview with Variety, director Rhys Waterfield teased new details about a new, twisted take on the beloved character in upcoming horror film Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.
“Nobody will do this wrong [for Disney]’ Waterfield said. “When you see the cover for it and you see the trailers and the stills and all that, no one is going to think that this is a kid’s version of it.”
The formerly lovable yellow bear and his sidekick Piglet will now be the “main villains…run amok” after Christopher Robin left them for a college education.
“Because they had to fend for themselves so much, they essentially went feral,” Waterfield continued. “So they went back to their animal roots. They’re not tame anymore: they’re like a vicious bear and pig that want to run around and try to find prey.”
A few of the stills Waterfield mentioned fell on Thursday, including a shot of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet sneaking up behind a bikini-clad woman in a hot tub.
“She’s having a good time, and then Pooh and Piglet come up behind her, give her chloroform, get her out of the hot tub, and then kind of run a car over her head,” Waterfield said.
Social media was having a big day with the pictures – so much so that Waterfield said completing the project “as soon as possible” was a “high priority”.
Waterfield, who was filming in England in 10 days, said audiences “shouldn’t expect this to be a Hollywood-grade production.”
Though he wouldn’t reveal the budget for the film, he said audiences should expect it to walk the line between horror and comedy.
“When you’re trying to make a film like this and it’s a really crazy concept, it’s very easy to go down a path where there’s nothing scary and it’s just really ridiculous and really stupid,” he said.
“It’s scary, but there’s also funny parts because there’s footage of Winnie the Pooh in a car and seeing him with his little ears behind the wheel and what it’s like to drive slowly there [to kill her]’ he continued in the hot tub scene.
The film was also made with the understanding that Disney still owns exclusive use of renditions of Pooh and his pals. Therefore, the honey lover will swap his usual red shirt for a lumberjack suit, and Piglet will dress all in black.
However, author AA Milne’s original 1926 stories about the fat yellow guy are now out of copyright and in the public domain, so Waterfield relied on them as a reference.
“We tried to be extremely careful,” Waterfield said. said: “We knew there was that line in between, and we knew what their copyright was and what they were doing. So we did as much as we could to make sure [the film] based only on the 1926 version.”
Waterfield’s Jagged Edge Productions, which he co-manages with co-producer Scott Jeffrey, directed Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey. There is no release date yet.