Are you looking for some serious whimsy in your life? Fret not, a live-action Winnie The Pooh film is on the way, penned by screenwriter Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Phillip). However, the inspiration for this upcoming iteration of the animals that inhabit the Hundred Acre Wood is coming from an unlikely source this time around: A.I..
While speaking with Collider, Ross Perry revealed that he has taken numerous cues from other films to establish the tone of this one, such as The Fantastic Mr. Fox and the Toy Story franchise, in an attempt to create something that balances age-appropriate storytelling with the dynamic a child would have with a prized possession. Beyond all of that, the majority of his his inspiration for the upcoming Winnie The Pooh stems from the relationship between David and Teddy in the 2001 Steven Spielberg film A.I:
There’s a lot inspired by the relationship between David and Teddy in A.I. That’s not really a children’s film at all. Crushingly depressing. But the relationship between human and toy bear in that movie is pretty spot on. And Fantastic Mr. Fox is something I’ve been talking about and thinking about because it has a lot of characters and each one is pretty distinct. It’s a fun movie and it works for a four year old and for a thirty year old. But David and Teddy in A.I is the relevant model.
Given the tone that Ross Perry seems to be going for in the film, the comparisons to A.I make quite a bit of sense. Hayley Joel Osment’s David and his bear Teddy share a striking resemblance to that of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh. While not directly copying, it would seem that accessibility is the primary goal of Ross Perry’s take on Winnie The Pooh, something that will appeal to kids as well as the adults who grew up with these stories in equal measures. This appears to come as a result of Ross Perry’s desire to honor what these characters represent, while creating something fundamentally new for audiences.
Check out the video below to see clips get a better understanding of David and Teddy’s relationship in A.I.
At this early stage it remains difficult to tell exactly the form Alex Ross Perry’s version of Winnie The Pooh will take. We will keep you posted on any and all information associated with the project as it becomes available to us in the coming months.