Rhys Frake-Waterfield doesn’t seem content on twisting A.A Milne’s classic Winnie The Pooh characters, as made popular by Walt Disney. His latest project, he claims, is set to feature another character Disney made popular; Peter Pan.
Rather than following in the bloody footsteps of his take on Christopher Robin and his friends, Frake-Waterfield has decided to turn the movie into a dark fantasy. Currently titled Peter Pan: Neverland Nightmare, details regarding the production are scarce, and the creator has so far remained tight-lipped about the project.
The news of a Peter Pan themed movie was bundled alongside a release announcement for the much publicised Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey, which is set for a wide theatrical release from February 23 next year. But given the furore many had towards taking a “Disney” work and ruining the childhood memories of many, no doubt when more details emerge interest will once again focus on this reimagining.
The subversion of classic fairy tales into movies and television shows isn’t a new occurrence; recently, a horror reimagining of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, The Mean One, elicited an angry response for once again ruining childhood stories. Movie fans can go further back in the archives to also see Steven Spielberg’s movie Hook, featuring the late Robin Williams, in a reimagining of what would happen if Peter Pan grew up.
As for Disney’s response, they cannot contest the use of Winnie The Pooh nor Peter Pan because they do not own the original copyrights for either character. However, they did caution Rhys Frake-Waterfield not to make his iteration of Winnie The Pooh look anything like their own take on A.A Milne’s lovable character.
Disney’s decision not to cause a fuss regarding the horror take on Winnie The Pooh mirrors their handling of movie Escape From Tomorrow. The low-budget thriller was shot at Disneyland in California on portable cameras without permission from the park, but rather than take litigious action the company chose to leave it alone to prevent an accidental Streisand Effect. The company even included the film in their Disney A-to-Z: The Official Encyclopedia, calling the movie “an independent surrealistic cult film surreptitiously filmed at Walt Disney World and Disneyland."