"It's so much friendlier with two." So says A.A. Milne, author and creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, and it seems Disney would agree. They're rumored to be rounding out the cast of their live-action Christopher Robin movie, with the addition of Gemma Arterton.
There is currently no release date for the project, which has had a script rewrite from Allison Schroeder (Hidden Figures). Marc Foster, director of Finding Neverland, is helming Christopher Robin, with Ewan McGregor already attached to star as the titular character, whose best friend was once a bear of very little brain.
According to Tracking Board, Arterton is set to play Christopher Robin's wife, Evelyn. Nothing is known of her character and she is entirely fictional, but we do know the vague plot outlines for the movie, which sounds like a perfect Disney tear-jerker already. Now an adult, and concerned with adult affairs such as holding down a job and being part of a marriage, Christopher Robin has become disillusioned with life and forgotten all about the magic of the Hundred Acre Wood and the adventures he shared with his friends, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, and more. Hopefully, they haven't forgotten about him, despite Pooh's forgetful tendencies, and the friends can bring some happiness into his life once more.
[UPDATE: Tracking Board is now reporting that the Christopher Robin talks with Arterton have broken down and that she will not be appearing in the film after all. The rest of this article has been left as it was originally published.]
For Arterton and Foster, this would be a reteaming since the pair worked together on Quantum of Solace. Arterton also has an extensive background in TV, movies, and on stage, having been a regular performer in London's West End. Christopher Robin would still be one of her most substantial role to date, though. Although she did play Gretel to Jeremy Renner's Hansel in Hansel & Gretel: Witchhunters, the movie was panned by critics. Arterton will certainly be hoping for a more successful turn here, under the Disney banner.
Thus far, Christopher Robin has been overshadowed both by Disney's extensive list of remakes in the works, and by Goodbye Christopher Robin, the awards season hopeful starring Domhnall Gleeson. That movie is a biopic of A.A. Milne, and sadly since the two share a similar title, many are assuming the movies are one and the same.
They're decidedly not, though, and Disney will no doubt put its own stamp on this fictional story. Though Finding Neverland and Saving Mr. Banks were both rooted in fact, it was the emotive storytelling that really tugged at the heartstrings, and Foster could well deliver similar here, with the fictional Christopher Robin. Who can watch Winnie-the-Pooh being abandoned and not shed a tear?
There is currently no release date set for Christopher Robin.
Source: Tracking Board