Disney, Alex Ross Perry developing live-action ‘Winnie the Pooh’ film
Indie filmmaker Alex Ross Perry is headed to the Hundred Acre Wood.
The “Listen Up Philip” writer-director has signed on to pen a live-action Disney film based on the characters of “Winnie the Pooh,” The Times has confirmed.
The project is the latest in Disney’s movement to remake its animated films as live action pieces — “Alice in Wonderland,” “Cinderella,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Dumbo” and “Mulan” are among those that have gotten or will get such treatment. The film also takes a page from the “Maleficent” playbook by reinterpreting one of the studio’s beloved properties from a new perspective.
The project originated with a pitch Perry brought to the studio that focuses on an adult Christopher Robin rather than his cuddly bear friend. The film is in the very early stages of development and does not have a director or release date. Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.
Created by the English author A.A. Milne in the 1920s, Pooh Bear and his anthropomorphic animal pals became known to readers in books such as “Winnie-the-Pooh” and “The House at Pooh Corner.” Disney licensed rights to the Hundred Acre Wood gang in 1961 and has since created numerous TV shows and direct-to-video movies, as well as four theatrical features, most recently 2011’s “Winnie the Pooh.”
As a filmmaker known for dark movies — they include existential comedies like “The Color Wheel” and “Philip” as well as the upcoming psychodrama “Queen of Earth” — 30-year-old Perry isn’t the most obvious choice to bring the befuddled bear back to the big screen.
In the fall he told The Times, “Some people are just more content to see the world in a perfectly conflict-free way. And I don’t see things that way. It’s not like I’m walking around starting fights with people. But I also don’t refuse to acknowledge there is negativity and ugliness and brutality in an artistic society these days, or anywhere.”
But Perry says his love of the characters makes it a good fit. On Thursday, he expressed those affinities on Twitter.
“All joking and April Fools proximity aside, I truly love Pooh Bear and have my whole life so this will be for young kids AND people like me,” he wrote.
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