A.A. Milne biopic Goodbye Christopher Robin now has an official, awards season-friendly theatrical release date. Winnie the Pooh is one of the most recognizable children’s characters of all time. The lovable stuffed bear created by Milne has been adored by children and adults around the world since his debut in 1926, and has since become one of Disney’s most recognizable characters. The Milne family was stunned by the success of the creation, which causes a considerable amount of strain on the family who was unprepared for the celebrity the books inspired.
The creation of, and subsequent problems caused by, Winnie the Pooh are the subject of a new Milne biopic, Goodbye Christopher Robin, from director Simon Curtis (Woman in Gold). The film stars Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as the British author, along with Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad) as his wife, Daphne, as it delves into the relationship between Milne and his son, Christopher Robin, and the toys that inspired Milne to write. The upcoming film has now been given a release date, putting in prime competition for next year’s awards season.
Fox Searchlight has announced a November 10 release date for Goodbye Christopher Robin, suggesting the studio has high hopes for the film. Fall release dates are typically reserved for the films that studios believe may be in contention for Oscar awards, which is a good sign of things to come. Additionally, its proximity to Thanksgiving weekend, when families tend to go to the theaters in droves, suggests the possibility of rich financial return for the film.
Goodbye Christopher Robin should not be confused for the upcoming Christopher Robin, Disney’s live-action take on Winnie the Pooh. Despite the similarity in title, Disney’s film, directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland) is said to follow an adult Christopher Robin who rediscovers Pooh-Bear and the hundred acre wood. Goodbye Christopher Robin, as it were, seems to be taking an approach similar to Finding Neverland, in that it details the real life people behind the iconic stories.
Milne, who fought in World War I, created Winnie the Pooh and the characters of the Hundred Acre Wood after becoming enchanted with watching his son play with his toys. The stories brought consolation to England, still reeling from the effects of the war, before going on to become a world-wide phenomenon.
While it’s still too early to say for sure that Goodbye Christopher Robin will clean up at the box office, its star power is a potentially huge draw. Gleeson and Robbie are two of the most recognizable stars working today, and that alone may be enough to bring people to the theater. Added with the connection to Winnie the Pooh, the chances for box office success, and even awards success, are certainly high for the film.
Both Gleeson and Robbie are widely acclaimed in their crafts, and neither need awards to solidify their standing with fans. Still, an Academy Award or Golden Globe nomination certainly wouldn’t hurt either of their careers, and could lead to bigger opportunities. Both the Oscars and Golden Globes have a long history with nominating actors and actresses in biopics.
Even without awards recognition, the story of Milne and his family is a fascinating look behind the scenes of Winnie the Pooh, and an interesting look at the problems caused by celebrity. It’s not a story that’s widely known by most fans, and should be intriguing to fans of the classic books and Disney movie.
Source: Fox Searchlight