The Hundred Acre Wood is in for more wild public domain transformation, with word emerging through the flurry of CinemaCon announcements that a new R-rated comedy series, Christopher Robin, is in development. The live-action/animation hybrid concept hails from Boat Rocker and Bay Mills Studios, with Sausage Party helmer Conrad Vernon on board.
According to the studios, the original concept from a script by Charlie Kesslering (Most Likely To, Turned On), will reimagine A.A. Milne’s beloved storybook world of Winnie the Pooh, recasting the imaginative young lad Christopher Robin as a grownup, disillusioned New Yorker navigating his quarter-life crisis with the help of the talking animals who live beyond a drug-induced portal behind his apartment building.
Vernon will direct the pilot episode and executive produce the series. Exec producers also include Nick Nantell for Boat Rocker, and Shamier Anderson and Stephan James for Bay Mills. Holly Hubsher is overseeing for Bay Mills.
Winnie-the-Pooh was first introduced to readers in 1925; the U.S. copyright expired at the end of 2021. The property saw many animated adaptations for film and TV under an exclusive licensing deal with Disney across the latter 20th century, from 1966’s Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree to 2011’s Winnie the Pooh. Audiences have also gotten two more sentimental portrayals of Christopher Robin in the live-action film from Disney (2018, starring Ewan McGregor) and U.K. biographical drama Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017, starring Domhnall Gleeson).
In February, the indie British slasher pic Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey gave the classic characters a terrifying makeover. More family friendly projects of the character’s new public domain era are also on the way, with Baboon Animation and China’s IQI planning an animated prequel film and new series for 2024.
Now, it seems that Milne’s creations will join the proud pantheon of grownup imaginary friend comedies like Ted, Happy!, Unhappily Ever After and Harvey.