It’s the horror film that will ruin your childhood – and it’s coming out soon.
The creepily titled Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is a new independent film directed by Rhys Frake-Waterfield, and it promises plenty of blood, gore… and honey.
Though a trailer hasn’t yet been released, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words and these definitely show that the beloved bear has taken a dark turn.
Harking back to the slasher flicks of the Nineties, the stills that have been released so far show a person in a Winnie the Pooh mask who looks set to cause chaos around town.
In one photo, they’re also joined by someone who looks like they’re wearing a Piglet mask, as they sneak up behind a woman in a hot tub.
There’s even the requisite haunted house, with “get out” smeared in blood on the windows.
For those wondering why Disney is letting this happen (a perfectly valid question): because the Winnie the Pooh books were first published in 1926, the 95-year copyright on the works expired on January 1, 2022.
AA Milne first created the character of Edward Bear in a 1924 poetry collection, which led to his debut book Winnie-the-Pooh being published two years later.
Illustrated by EH Shepard, the original version of Winnie does not include the iconic red shirt – that was added by Disney, making that version of Winnie still out of bounds.
However, anybody can now incorporate the "original iterations of Pooh" into "into any of your creative work”, according to the Centre for the Study of Public Domain.
There is a bright spot: the use of Tigger is still restricted by copyright laws… which is perhaps no bad thing.
Now, anybody can access (and use) AA Milne’s beloved works, and they are.
According to its IMDB page, the film stars Craig David Dowsett as Pooh himself, alongside Maria Taylor as Maria, Danielle Ronald as Zoe, May Kelly as Tina, Natasha Tosini as Lara and Chris Cordell as Piglet.
Will other residents of Hundred Acre Wood be making an appearance? The jury is out on Christopher Robin and Eeyore.
There’s no release date yet, which implies that the film won’t be coming out for a while yet: that should give us time to swot up on some reading. Or steel yourself to have your memories of the Bear destroyed.