With Disney setting Marc Forster to direct the studio’s live-action Christopher Robin movie, the studio has now found its leading man. Ewan McGregor has signed on to play the title character, who has long since grown up from his days in the 100 Acre Wood, and is now a businessman with a family of his own. The studio has also brought in writer Allison Schroeder, who is coming off an Oscar nomination for her work in Hidden Figures, is coming aboard to work on the script.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on this casting, with the actor set to play the grown-up Christopher Robin who has “lost his sense of imagination,” since he is now solely focused on his work and being successful. While the Winnie the Pooh character isn’t mentioned in The Hollywood Reporter’s piece, previous reports revealed that Winnie The Pooh actually comes back to visit the adult Christopher Robin, since he needs help finding his friends, but this visit comes at the worst possible time for Christopher, since he is close to losing his wife and daughter because he’s too focused on his work.
The original script for Disney’s live-action movie was written by Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip), with Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) writing a later draft of the script. Now with Allison Schroeder taking over the writing duties, it remains to be seen how much of the original story will change, or if a new approach will be taken. Brigham Taylor (The Jungle Book) will produce for Disney, which hasn’t set a release date at this time. Then again, with the cast now beginning to be formed, perhaps the studio will set a release date soon.
Author A.A. Milne named the Christopher Robin character after his own son, Christopher Robin Milne, with the character appearing in his 1926 book Winnie the Pooh and the 1928 follow-up The House at Pooh’s Corner, along with several poems. The character would then appear in the animated TV series The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the 2011 animated film Winnie the Pooh. The author is the subject of a new biopic himself, entitled Goodbye Christopher Robin, which stars Domhnall Gleeson as A.A. Milne, Margot Robbie as his wife and Will Tilston as Christopher Robin.
Ewen McGregor can currently be seen in theaters in two vastly different movies, the Disney blockbuster Beauty and the Beast, where he voices the candelabra Lumierre, and Trainspotting 2, where he reprised his iconic character Renton. He also stars on FX’s hit anthology series Fargo, playing the dual role of Minnesota twin brothers Emmit Stussy and Ray Stussy. He will next be seen in The Land of Sometimes and Zoe, which are both in pre-production. Hopefully we’ll hear more about Christopher Robin soon, now that the lead character has been cast.