You may recall that earlier in the year, news broke of a horror movie based on Winnie the Pooh, of all things. With the character having re-entered the public domain after Disney let the rights lapse, Pooh: Blood & Honey took the children’s character and made him a serial killer, at which point the internet freaked the hell out. If you thought that would be the last we heard of such a concept, well, I don’t know how that’s possible if you read the title of this article.
So yes, some horror filmmakers are gearing up to give a similar treatment to Bambi (which Disney’s working on a live-action remake for). Originally reported by Dread Central earlier in the week and later corroborated by Entertainment Weekly, director Scott Jeffrey is helming Bambi: The Reckoning, wherein the titular deer will be a “vicious killing machine who lurks in the wilderness,” per the director. “The film will be an incredibly dark retelling of the 1928 story we all know and love. […] Prepare for Bambi on rabies!” Given the subtitle and the fact that “Bambi’s out for revenge against the hunter who shot his mum” is a common joke, you can probably guess what the film’s plot may end up being.
Further details on the film are scarce ahead of its start date of January 2023. But Jeffrey did say that the design of Bambi would take inspiration from the 2017 horror film The Ritual, for those who’ve seen that. Additionally, it’ll be produced by Rhys Frake-Waterfield, director of Pooh. Jury’s out on if this all leading to some sort of weird Freddy vs. Jason crossover involving other childhood characters in the public domain, though. (There’s no way that isn’t being kicked around, right?)
Like with Pooh, you’ll probably get a kick out of this if you were big on the idea of children’s characters being secretly twisted. If you’re not in that camp, well you’re already against it on principle from the start, so continue to ignore it. Either way, if characters are going to continue being in the public domain, stuff like this is what we’ll get, if only because they easily grab attention.