In recent years, Disney has done well to bolster its film slate with live-action re-imaginings of early classics. Following the success of Maleficent and Cinderella, the House of Mouse hit it big at the box office with last year's The Jungle Book, which grossed nearly $364 million in the U.S. alone. Now on the docket are the hotly anticipated Beauty and the Beast, due out March 17, as well as The Little Mermaid, Mulan, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Lion King, and Dumbo.
One of the films, Christopher Robin is getting a lot more than just a straightforward live-action treatment. Rather than simply updating the beloved property for the modern screen, the project will explore a new narrative entirely. It will focus on Christopher Robin, the young boy at the heart of Hundred Acre Wood, as a work-obsessed adult with little time for his family — that is, until Pooh and his fellow woodland friends re-enter his life.
Indie filmmaker Alex Ross Perry was brought on in November to helm the script, but now Tracking Board reports Spotlight's Tom McCarthy has been hired to pen a re-write. The move comes three months after Marc Forster (Finding Neverland) was tapped to direct.
It's unclear why Perry was bumped off board, though as a newcomer, he's a bit of a gamble. His previous credits included well-received, but non-mainstream, projects like The Color Wheel, breakout Sundance dramedy Listen Up Philip, and the acclaimed Queen of Earth, starring Elisabeth Moss and Alien: Covenant star Katherine Waterston.
McCarthy, on the other hand, has a decorated resume. Just last year, he won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for 2015's Spotlight, by and large his best known work. Though Spotlight is certainly mature in tone when considered against Winnie the Pooh, the writer-director has plenty of experience when it comes to kid-oriented fare. He co-wrote animated favorite Up back in 2009, and more recently wrote and directed The Cobbler, a fantasy flick about a cobbler whose life is changed when he stumbles across a magical heirloom that allows him to see the world through other people's eyes. He's also directing and executive producing upcoming Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, an adaption of a YA mystery novel, so a film that merges adulthood realism with wide-eyed imagination falls right in line with his purview.
No release date or further details have been announced for Christopher Robin, but Screen Rant will keep you updated.
Source: Tracking Board