This isn’t the Winnie the Pooh you grew up with.
In an interview with Variety, director Rhys Waterfield teased new details about a new, twisted take on the beloved character in the upcoming horror film “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.”
“No one is going to mistake this [for Disney],” Waterfield said. “When you see the cover for this and you see the trailers and the stills and all that, there’s no way anyone is going to think this is a child’s version of it.”
The formerly lovable yellow bear and his sidekick, Piglet, will now be the “main villains … going on a rampage” after Christopher Robin leaves them behind for a college education.
“Because they’ve had to fend for themselves so much, they’ve essentially become feral,” Waterfield continued. “So they’ve gone back to their animal roots. They’re no longer tame: they’re like a vicious bear and pig who want to go around and try and find prey.”
A few of the stills Waterfield mentioned dropped on Thursday, including a shot of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet creeping up behind a bikini-clad woman in a hot tub.
“She’s having a good time and then Pooh and Piglet appear behind her, chloroform her, take her out of the jacuzzi and then kind of drive a car over her head,” Waterfield said.
Social media had a field day with the images — so much so that Waterfield said that finishing the project “as fast as we can” is a “high priority.”
Filmed in 10 days in England, Waterfield said audiences “shouldn’t be expecting this to be a Hollywood-level production.”
While he would not disclose the budget for the film, he said audiences should expect it to ride between horror and comedy.
“When you try and do a film like this, and it’s a really wacky concept, it’s very easy to go down a route where nothing is scary and it’s just really ridiculous and really, like, stupid,” he said. And we wanted to go between the two.
“It’s scary but there’s also funny bits because there’s shots of Winnie the Pooh in a car and seeing him with his little ears behind the wheel and like slowly going over there [to kill her,]” he continued on the hot tub scene.
The movie was also made with the awareness that Disney still owns exclusive use of interpretations of Pooh and his pals. That’s why the honey-lover will trade his usual red shirt for a lumberjack suit and Piglet will dress in all black.
“We’ve tried to be extremely careful,” Waterfield. said “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.”
Waterfield’s Jagged Edge Productions, which he runs with co-producer Scott Jeffrey, made “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.” There is no release date yet.