16.9 C
New York

‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2′ Interview

Published:

Opening in theaters for a limited engagement on March 26th, 27th, and 28th is ‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2,’ which stars Scott Chambers, Ryan Oliva, Eddy MacKenzie, Lewis Santer, Marcus Massey, Tallulah Evans, and Simon Callow.

Related Article: ‘Steamboat Willie’ Enters Public Domain, Sparking Two Horror Movies

'Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.'

‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.’ Photo: ITN Distribution.

Moviefone recently spoke with director Rhys Frake-Waterfield and producer-actor Scott Chambers (who produces under the name Scott Jeffrey) about ‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2,’ expanding their use of the public domain children’s characters, and their ambitious plans for what they call the Twisted Childhood Universe.

You can read the full interview below or click on the video player above to watch the interview.

'Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.'

‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.’ Photo: ITN Distribution.

Moviefone: When you did the first one, it seems that you really didn’t have expectations that it would take off the way it did, did you?

Rhys Frake-Waterfield: No. We’ve produced a lot of entry-level, low-budget films. I started directing only about two or three years ago, so we didn’t really have much of a scope or understanding of the scale these projects were initially going to be. They were mostly for the VOD market, so we were just running basically. Then we’d done that one. The principal photography budget was only 20,000 pounds, so absolutely nothing, student films are often more than that. Then about three months later, it started going absolutely wild online and getting shared everywhere. We were like, “Holy s**t.” This turned from a tiny budget VOD movie into something which is being shown theatrically worldwide. We did some pickups and reshoots and bits like that, but even then the budget was still miniscule in comparison to what a film of that scale should really be getting made on. However, on the sequel, we’ve had a significant jump up in the budget now, and we’ve had more time to cultivate the story, and ensure it’s going in a good direction, getting fan feedback and such. So far, everything we’ve heard of people who have seen it, from all the screenings and stuff, has been really, really positive, so we are super excited for it to be released.

MF: What was your biggest takeaway from the whole experience and was there anything else that you learned from doing the first one and the reaction to it?

RFW: When you start any job, and you start doing something for the first time, you’re never at your full potential. Everyone’s learning, everyone’s getting better and better. For me, when I directed that one, I was still learning quite a bit. It was still quite early. I’ve learned a significant amount since then from all aspects of it, and I’ve had to ensure that on the sequel, everything’s basically stepped up massively compared to the first film. One key element is obviously the story. I wanted the protagonist in this new version to re-center itself towards Christopher Robin because he really should be the main protagonist. He’s what the books are known for, or he’s the character known around the books. Then, we are big horror fans, and all horror fans love practical effects. They love gore, the death scenes, so we made sure to get someone really good on board to handle that for the sequel so we used the prosthetic studio who have worked on Voldemort and Captain America and stuff. They’ve done an absolute excellent job in redesigning the creatures. They’ve gone from a single-piece mask on them to actual prosthetics designs so when the characters move their faces, they’re going with it. It’s just not feeling like this singular piece, and hopefully you can tell from the trailer there’s some really cool gore effects on there, there’s a lot of death in this movie. But there’s a lot of story and heart with it as well. The writer I got on board, Matt Leslie, worked with me for about three or four months prior to filming, just cultivating the story and changing things rather than the tiny timeframe I had in the first one, which was literally less than a week to go from brainstorming everything to writing it.

'Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.'

‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.’ Photo: ITN Distribution.

MF: Were there still legal hurdles to watch out for in this one in terms of what you could use from the books? Was making Christopher Robin more central and introducing characters like Tigger a result of more changes to the copyright?

RFW: There are always areas you need to be careful of when you are using an IP like this. Disney has their interpretation of it and their version of it, which they built on from the original 1926 [book], and that doesn’t change. All of their aspects, and their unique elements need to stay as they are. You’re right, Tigger has only come in the public domain in January this year, that’s why he’s been able to get introduced into the sequel. In terms of bringing Christopher Robin in as the main character, that isn’t actually anything to do with IP or any changes, we could have done it in the first film. There was just a couple of reasons. There was some indirect pressure to move [the first film] in a different direction, and also to make it more focused on a ‘girls in the cabin’ kind of approach. But we really decided that in a sequel that wasn’t the right way to go with it, and that’s why we’ve re-centered it towards that.

MF: Scott, what was behind the decision for you to play Christopher Robin this time? [Nikolai Leon played the role in the first movie.]

Scott Chambers: It is the most intimidating role that I’ve had to date just because, from producing the first one, I saw the amount of just nasty people out there that just want to be hateful, want to send death threats, and all this. Obviously up until now my acting CV’s fairly classy. Then Rhys was like, “Do you want to do ‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2’?” I was like, “All right. Yeah, why not? It’ll be fun.” I did actually think it would be fun, so I just thought, screw it. But my agent was a bit on the fence about it, I think again, because she was potentially a bit nervous about what could come out of this. But I did believe in Rhys. I always believed in Rhys. The negative stuff that he got from the first one, what can you do? It was made on 20,000 pounds. The same year ‘Skinamarink’ came out, it was made on $15,000 and had no actors, no locations other than a house, it was all found footage. We had a cast, we had deaths, we had gore, we had location changes, we had a whole team of people working on it, so he did the best he could and I really believe in him. I’m glad that I took that leap of faith because on the set I felt like I wasn’t let down. I feel like he always had my back. I just got to work with people like Simon Callow, who’s incredible. It was easier this time casting it because people wanted to be in it. Whereas the first one, it was like, you couldn’t really get anyone to be in it. They were just like, “Winnie-the-Pooh, what? No.”

'Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.'

‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.’ Photo: ITN Distribution.

RFW: I’d say there was still some challenges with some of the casting because you are coming off of a film which had a lot of difficulties to begin with. However, a lot of people started believing in the script when they read it. That’s how we got Simon Callow involved. He read it and he really liked the character and he could see potential in it and it started snowballing from there. We had Simon Callow, we’ve got Alec Newman, he was in ‘Dune’ [the Syfy miniseries], and a lot of other very professional actors. Peter DeSouza-Feighoney, he’s from ‘The Pope’s Exorcist.’ So the cast has really come around in this one. I think that’s partly a byproduct of the story being very good as well so they’re happy to come on board.

MF: You’ve also got ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Bambi: The Reckoning’ in the works. So talk a little bit about expanding this universe and the overall roadmap you see ahead.

SC: Yeah, we just shot ‘Bambi: The Reckoning’ in January with [director] Dan Allen, who is a British filmmaker. It’s crazy that he’s not working, he should be on really big sets, he’s great. So we are bringing in British filmmakers that we really believe in because we don’t want to do every single one ourselves in terms of directing, because obviously Rhys is working on the ‘Winnie’ franchise and then I’m directing ‘Peter Pan’s Neverland Nightmare.’ All these films at the moment, they’re introductions to these characters. When you watch the films, you’ll see the threads that link them all together and there is an end goal. I think people are going to be very happy where this is going and it’s onwards and upwards. Every film’s going to be better than the last. We’re excited about where this is going, aren’t we, Rhys?

'Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.'

‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.’ Photo: ITN Distribution.

RFW: Yeah and in ‘Winnie 2’ as well, when people watch that, like Scott was saying, there’s a lot of Easter eggs which will hint towards some of these other elements, towards some other films coming up, links towards ‘Winnie 3’. There’s elements and Easter eggs in there where the story’s going to go towards.

MF: What is the overarching plan?

RFW: Basically it’s called ‘Poohniverse: Monsters Assemble,’ so it’s our version of ‘Avengers Assemble'[note: Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ was titled ‘Avengers Assemble’ in the UK]. All of the big creatures which we are doing standalone movies for — Winnie, Bambi, Peter Pan, Pinocchio — they’re going to be working together in this. We haven’t seen this in horror. We’re massive horror fans. I know it doesn’t really get critically viewed well, but I love ‘Freddy vs. Jason’ and these kinds of crossovers. I find them really fun. You’ve got the monster universes, but they don’t really interact well that much. So we thought, okay, let’s try and do a horror one, because we are doing all these individual films, we can bring them all as one, which a lot of other studios can’t because of IP issues and such.

MF: There was a definite tongue-in-cheek vibe to the first ‘Winnie-the-Pooh.’ Is that something you’ve carried over to the second one? And will there be a different tone for each film?

RFW: Yeah, that’s a really good question, tone, because a lot of people overlook that. In the first film, some people think I was being dead serious when I made it, and I’m shocked when I read that people think I was seriously trying to make some scenes just dead scary. But I was going for this campy, goofy vibe just because I find it really fun. I like that. I have a love for B-movies. However, in the sequel, I did decide that it needs to go into a more serious direction. However, it’s not dead serious because ultimately it’s still Winnie-the-Pooh. You still need to have fun with the concept itself. But I wanted to introduce more traditional horror into there, so there are moments where people will find these characters scary, but they are also doing crazy things, a little bit like the Freddy Krueger films. He’s scary, but he’s also doing fun stuff. In terms of the other films, because we’re introducing different directors for each of the films, they each have their own style, and it wouldn’t make sense to make them all aligned to the exact same tone, even though they’re in the same universe. Scott’s will probably be the darkest of the lot. I’d say ‘Bambi’ is somewhere in between ‘Winnie’ and ‘Peter Pan.’ Then when we get onto ‘Pinocchio,’ I think ‘Pinocchio’ will probably lean more towards fun. Do you know how Chucky has this fun vibe to him? He’s not just as dark and as serious as what Scott’s going for. So they each have their own individual tones, but that also makes it fun and engaging where it doesn’t feel like the same film over and over.

'Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.'

‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.’ Photo: ITN Distribution.

SC: It doesn’t make sense really with ‘Peter Pan’ to even tonally make that fun, because it is a man abducting children. So instantly for me I was like… It’s like we wanted to play to our strengths and my strengths. I love suspense, I love mystery. I’m a massive fan of French horror like ‘High Tension.’ I’m obsessed with stuff like that and ‘Inside’ and all these types of films and I’ve taken a lot of that inspiration. I want real performances that feel gritty as hell, and I want savageness in it. I did start to develop this ‘Peter Pan’ that was a bit more crazy and wacky, but it just didn’t feel right and I didn’t feel the passion to direct it. Then with my new script, I can’t wait.

“Friends will gather to take revenge.”

NR1 hr 40 minMar 26th, 2024

Showtimes & Tickets

Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Owl, and Tigger decide to take the fight to the town of Ashdown, home of Christopher Robin, leaving a bloody trail of death and mayhem in… Read the Plot

What is the plot of ‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2’?

Now that Christopher Robin (Scott Chambers) has revealed the horrifying nature of their existence in the 100-Acre-Wood, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Owl, and Tigger wage a vicious, gruesome war against Christopher Robin’s hometown of Ashdown as they decide to stop hiding and seek revenge against their former friend.

Who is in the cast of ‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2’?

  • Scott Chambers as Christopher Robin
  • Ryan Oliva as Winnie-the-Pooh
  • Peter DeSouza-Feighoney as Young Winnie-the-Pooh
  • Eddy MacKenzie as Piglet
  • Lewis Santer as Tigger
  • Marcus Massey as Owl
  • Simon Callow as Cavendish
  • Tallulah Evans as Lexy
'Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.'

‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.’ Photo: ITN Distribution.

Other Movies Similar to ‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2’:

Buy ‘Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey’ on Amazon

Related articles

Recent articles

spot_img