After A.A. Milne’s original Winnie the Pooh stories entered the public domain at the beginning of this year, the childhood tale that we know and love is getting ready to take a twisted, terrifying turn.
The upcoming movie Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey puts a horror twist on the beloved children’s character. Written and directed by Rhys Frake-Waterfield, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey reimagines a slasher thriller starring A. A. Milne’s characters. The most popular of Milne’s characters is the gentle Winnie the Pooh (despite his ban in China). With the original stories lapsing into the public domain, Pooh and Piglet are set to go on a murderous rampage, steering away from their classic tales of charming adventures.
An independent production, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey attracted attention when stills from the film were released online. The news caused mixed reactions from the public, with some horrified at what Winnie the Pooh has been turned into, noting how things could easily go wrong once a well-known body of work entered the public domain. On the other hand, others expressed genuine interest and curiosity about the bizarre concept, applauding the director’s imagination and creativity.
How A Winnie The Pooh Horror Movie Can Be Made? (What About Copyrights?)
Every year, thousands of creative works become part of the public domain. Since these literary and artistic pieces are already free from intellectual property rights, anyone can use them, and create, publish, or distribute works based on them without securing a license. Under U.S. copyright law, works published from 1923 to 1977 would enter the public domain 95 years after their first publication.
This year, those published in 1926, including A. A. Milne’s first Winnie the Pooh book, lapse into the public domain. But in 1966, Disney acquired the character copyrights and created its versions of Pooh — the iconic yellow bear wearing a red shirt — and the other characters, such as Piglet, Eeyore, and Christopher Robin. As such, everything included and detailed in the book became free for all; Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is strictly based on the 1926 book, with Pooh and Piglet wearing lumberjack suits and black clothes, respectively. Also, because other characters like Tigger were introduced later and thus still in copyright, they will not appear in the horror film.
Therefore obviously, this film isn’t the Disney Winnie the Pooh you might have grown up with. Once a work enters the public domain it can legally be shared, performed, reused, repurposed, or sampled without permission or cost.
Winnie The Pooh: Blood & Honey Plot Details
Recently, the director of Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey revealed details about the horror film’s plot. When Christopher Robin left Winnie the Pooh and Piglet for college, the two were neglected and forced to fend for themselves, causing them to go back to their animal roots and become feral. Pooh and Piglet resorted to hunting prey and eating their victims; prior to the events of the film, the two even ate Eeyore in order to survive. Years later, Christopher would return with his wife, but his old friends’ hatred and resentment had already spilled over into a murderous rampage targeting college girls.
Winnie The Pooh: Blood & Honey Cast
Because Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is an independent project, it only has a small cast and crew. Craig David Dowsett plays Winnie the Pooh, while Chris Cordell portrays Piglet. They are joined by Amber Doig-Thorne, Danielle Scott, Maria Taylor, Danielle Ronald, Natasha Tosini, May Kelly, Paula Coiz, and Natasha Rose Mills.
The Pooh: Blood & Honey Release Date
According to Variety, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey wrapped production in early May this year.
“Because of all the press and stuff, we’re just going to start expediting the edit and getting it through post-production as fast as we can,” Waterfield told the outlet. “But also, making sure it’s still good. It’s gonna be a high priority.”
While an official premiere date is yet to be announced, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey might already be ready for release in late 2022 or early 2023.