So far, Disney has been pretty solid with its live-action adaptation of its animated properties. Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella was lush and gorgeous; Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book was a huge step forward in visual effects; and it’s looking like Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast will be another huge hit for the studio.
But all good things must come to an end, and while there was hope that the studio’s live-action adaptation of Winnie the Pooh, titled Christopher Robin, would be another success after hiring Queen of Earth writer-director Alex Ross Perry to pen the screenplay, interest has now evaporated with their director hire.
According to THR, Marc Forster has come on board to helm Christopher Robin. Per THR, “The story centers on Robin, the adult version of the boy who in the A.A. Milne books shares his adventures with the animals of the Hundred Acre Wood. Robin has grown out of the joyful imagination he had as a young boy and is now a businessman who prioritizes work over his wife and daughter. With his home life on the brink, the last thing his life needs is the return of Pooh, who needs his help in finding his friends again. Robin has to find a way to help both sides or risk losing everything he holds dear.”
So basically Disney has asked Forster to helm a new version of Hook but this time it’s with Winnie the Pooh characters instead of Peter Pan characters.
THR also reports that “The project is described as having strong elements of magical realism as it seeks to tell an emotional journey that is combined with a heartwarming adventure,” and while that’s all well and good, Forster has failed time and again to show he’s a director with any imagination. While better filmmakers languish in movie jail, Forster keeps cranking out new movies even though they’re all bad. Even if you want to say Quantum of Solace wasn’t his fault because of the writer’s strike, that still leaves the maudlin Machine Gun Preacher, the disastrous production on World War Z, and the bland The Kite Runner. I like Stranger Than Fiction, but that came out ten years ago, and it doesn’t seem like Forster has really grown as a director.
Maybe he’ll prove me wrong and perhaps Perry’s script will carry the day, but right now, it looks like Christopher Robin won’t continue Disney’s winning streak.