‘Spotlight’ Oscar-Winner Tom McCarthy to Rewrite Disney’s Live-Action Winnie the Pooh
Disney’s concept for Christopher Robin — a live-action reimagining of the happy tales of Winnie the Pooh and the rest of the Hundred Acre Wood gang — was kind of weird from the start. The idea was that the film would rejoin Pooh’s young pal Christopher Robin as a family man swept up in his professional life, with Pooh returning to remind the jaded grown-up of the wonderment of childhood. Perhaps Disney recognized what a tricky sell that might be, and accordingly decided to throw all the talented people they could at this. They brought in acerbic indie-circuit favorite Alex Ross Perry to draw up a script, and then hired eclectic director Marc Forster (responsible for everything from World War Z to Stranger Than Fiction to Quantum of Solace) to head up the operation.
Today, Variety brings the news that they’ve added another cook to this soup, with Tom McCarthy coming onboard for a rewrite of Perry‘s script. The actor/director/writer recently took home the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay on merit of his journalism procedural Spotlight, and Disney hopes he’ll be able to bring some of that same magic to the process. The Christopher Robin gig came as something of a surprise for Perry, known primarily for his biting, often mean-spirited comedies — if this foray into studio work came out anything like his previous self-made pictures, Pooh probably spent most of the runtime deliberately trying to hurt Eeyore’s feelings.
Perhaps Disney executives saw a better fit in McCarthy, who not too long ago shared a ‘story by’ credit on Up, another kid-friendly project about a cantankerous oldster reconnecting with his lost youth through a new friend. If this film is looking to hit the tonal register of ‘warm, but emotionally mature,’ then McCarthy may be the perfect fit.