Yes, you read that title correctly.
The character of Winnie the Pooh, the lovable little stuffed bear with an insatiable craving for honey, is most commonly associated with his portrayals in Disney productions. However, the character was originally created by author A.A. Milne, and at the beginning of the year, those stories lapsed into the public domain. This means that, while Disney can still make Pooh stuff if they want to, anyone else can do the same without fear of reprisal. And boy, did someone ever.
Yesterday, new stills released from the recently wrapped production of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, a horror slasher film starring Pooh and Piglet as a pair of feral forest hunters seeking to consume the blood of the innocent after being abandoned by Christopher Robin. Fun. The film is being produced by Jagged Edge Productions, with slasher aficionado Rhys Waterfield directing, writing, and co-producing. After the unsurprisingly big response to the stills, Waterfield pledged to get the film done as quickly as possible.
“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 Variety. “But also, making sure it’s still good. It’s gonna be a high priority.”
Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is a horror retelling of "the famous legend of Winnie the Poo." 💉🍯
This, of course, is not being done by Disney – Winnie entered the public domain in January of 2022. pic.twitter.com/lQyPzqMIEw
— IGN (@IGN) May 26, 2022
While the character of Pooh is in public domain now, certain depictions of him are still firmly in Disney’s custody, which necessitated extreme caution in writing the script so as not to invite legal trouble. “We’ve tried to be extremely careful,” said Waterfield. “We knew there was this line between that, and we knew what their copyright was and what they’ve done. So we did as much as we could to make sure [the film] was only based on the 1926 version of it.”