Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ Domhnall Gleeson and Suicide Squad‘s Margot Robbie have been confirmed to star in Goodbye Christopher Robin, a biopic about Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne. According to Deadline, Domhnall is set to play A.A. Milne, while Margot has signed on to portray his wife Daphne.
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“I am delighted to be collaborating with (screenwriter) Frank Cottrell Boyce to tell the remarkable and poignant story of the family behind the creation of Winnie the Pooh,” director Simon Curtis said of the project. “We are assembling a wonderful cast, headed by two actors I am longing to work with – Domhnall Gleeson and Margot Robbie.”
English author A.A. Milne’s two Pooh books appear to be heavily inspired by his son, Christopher Robin Milne, and his stuffed animals, particularly his stuffed bear named Winnie-the-Pooh. The stuffed bear’s original name was “Edward,” only being renamed “Winnie-the-Pooh” after a Canadian black bear named Winnie, which served as somewhat of a military mascot in the first World War, and was also left to the London Zoo during that time.
Winnie-the-Pooh was not the only one of Christopher’s stuffed toys that made it into A.A.’s stories. Milne decided to incorporate Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga, and Roo as well. Christopher Robin Milne’s stuffed animals are now on display in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in New York.
The real Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin, 1927 pic.twitter.com/6niBqkBuIq
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Goodbye Christopher Robin will apparently focus on the relationship between A. A. Milne and his son Christopher. Following the international success of the children’s books, the audience will get to see how the family, including Christopher’s mother Daphne and their nanny Olive, were impacted by it, along with how this hope and optimism changed England after World War I.
Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) will direct the project, with a screenplay by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Millions) and Simon Vaughan (War and Peace).
This news comes shortly after Variety‘s report that Craig Gillespie will be directing the Tonya Harding biopic I, Tonya, which will also star Margot Robbie in the lead role. Coupled with the role of Daphne Milne in Goodbye Christopher Robin, this will be her second role in an autobiographical film. This will be the first biopic that actor Domhnall Gleeson will star in.
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Oddly enough, Margot Robbie and Domhnall Gleeson have already appeared in a film together — 2013’s About Time.
Winnie-the-Pooh is easily one of the most popular characters in children’s literature, and another movie (this time in live-action) may be coming soon, with Alex Ross Perry hired to write and direct. This iteration will see “Christopher Robin as an adult, which brings him back to A.A. Milne’s famous bear and the Hundred Acre Wood,” according to E! News.
It’s no surprise that Disney is turning these classic animated features into live-action movies. This year we already got The Jungle Book, and Disney also plans to release live-action versions of Pete’s Dragon, Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, and Dumbo. We’ve already seen a biopic centered on Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers and her working relationship with Walt Disney in the 2013 film Saving Mr. Banks, with Emma Thompson as Travers and Tom Hanks playing Disney.
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Margot Robbie can be seen as Jane Porter in The Legend of Tarzan, coming to theaters July 1, 2016, as well as Dr. Harleen F. Quinzel/Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, which opens August 5, 2016. Robbie is currently filming the thriller Terminal, with Simon Pegg and Mike Myers, along with the animated musical Larrikins, with Rose Byrne, Hugh Jackman, and Naomi Watts.
Domhnall Gleeson is currently filming Star Wars: Episode VIII, as well as an untitled Darren Aronofsky project, which features Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, and Brian Gleeson, scheduled to be released next year.
[Photo by John Phillips; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]