‘The Force Awakens’ Star Domhnall Gleeson in Talks to Play ‘Winnie the Pooh’ Author in Biopic
One of Disney’s more curious live-action updates is their upcoming Winnie the Pooh film, scripted by Queen of Earth director Alex Ross Perry. In addition to that film, Fox Searchlight has a Hundred Acre Wood-adjacent project in the works exploring the life of Pooh creator and author A.A. Milne, giving audiences a chance to get to know the man who brought everyone’s favorite chubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff to life.
Deadline reports that Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Ex Machina star Domhnall Gleeson is considering a brief intermission from sci-fi, as he’s in talks to portray Milne in Goodbye Christopher Robin. Simon Curtis (The Woman in Gold) is directing the film based on the life of Milne, who used his son Christopher Robin as inspiration for Winnie the Pooh’s human friend.
The animal characters in Milne’s books were also based on his son’s own toys: the gloomy donkey Eeyore, the fretful little Piglet, the relentlessly bouncy tiger named Tigger, and of course Winnie the Pooh, who was named after Christopher Robin Milne’s stuffed bear, Edward.
A.A. Milne was a veteran of World War I and an accomplished essayist, novelist and screenwriter before the Pooh books eclipsed his other writing and became his most famous works. The author eventually became the Captain of the British Home Guard during World War II and used his authority to help his son land a position with the Royal Engineers after he failed a medical entrance exam. It was during this time that the younger Milne began to resent his father for what he felt was an exploitation of his childhood.
It’s unclear exactly which portion of Milne’s life Goodbye Christopher Robin will cover, though given Gleeson’s age it seems unlikely that the film will be able to explore the latter strife between father and son. Mostly, Curtis’ project sounds similar to Finding Neverland, but hopefully he’ll deliver something a little less formulaic.
Gleeson is currently filming Star Wars: Episode VIII, and also appears opposite Tom Cruise in Mena, as well as David Wain’s National Lampoon origin film A Futile and Stupid Gesture — all of which will arrive in 2017.