Now a little more than a year out from his Oscar win for the journalistic procedural Spotlight, Tom McCarthy’s on the hunt for some new work. He already agreed to punch up Alex Ross Perry’s script for the live-action Christopher Robin movie, and he had a hand in the slow-moving teen trainwreck that is Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why (that’s just me, though — it’s gotten a more positive response from othe
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 Finding Neverland to Quantum of Solace) to head up the operation.
Spotlight director Tom McCarthy has something of a spotty record. While balancing a robust career as an actor, McCarthy got started directing such fine dramas as The Station Agent and The Visitor, and earned his first Oscar nomination for co-writing the script for Up. His 2011 feature Win Win was solid, and Spotlight currently has six Academy Award nominations pending (including a Best Director citation for McCarthy himself), and yet there remains a stain on his filmography. McCarthy also helmed 2015’s The Cobbler, a ridiculous, risible Adam Sandler vehicle that felt like a deranged parody of a formulaic studio comedy. If the director was capable of putting his name on that radioactive pile of waste, then nothing’s beyond his reach, awards-season prestige be damned.