With the recent success of Cinderella and Maleficent behind them, Disney is forging ahead with yet another live-action adaptation of one of their beloved animated properties, with plans to bring A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh to the big screen. The studio has hired Alex Ross Perry, the writer-director of the Sundance indie film Listen Up Philip, to helm the movie. The new film’s focus will be on Christopher Robin as an adult, which brings him back to the world of the Hundred Acre Wood. This sounds a bit like Disney’s first big success with an animated-to-live-action translation, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which featured a teen-aged Alice returning to the realm of Wonderland again, instead of a straight-up retelling of the original story, like the recent Cinderella chose to do.
Ever since the massive financial success of Alice in Wonderland back in 2010, Disney has begun a new “franchise” of sorts with their live-action adaptations of classic animated films. Both Maleficent and Cinderella continued the winning streak for them, and adaptations of Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, Pete’s Dragon, The Jungle Book and Mulan are all in the pipeline for the next several years. Winnie the Pooh, along with Cars, has long been one of Disney’s biggest cash cows in terms of merchandising money. In fact, behind Disney Princesses and Star Wars, Pooh Bear is the company’s third biggest moneymaking licensed product. While it may seem surprising at first, go ahead and think of anyone you know who has infants or toddlers–they ALL have a Winnie the Pooh something in their room. Wherever you find little kids, you find Pooh Bear.
No release date or time frame has been given for this movie, but expect to hear more about this one sooner rather than later.