Freddy and Jason Need a Cameo in the Blood and Honey Poohniverse

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Summary

  • The unexpected success of
    Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey
    led to the creation of a profitable cinematic universe.
  • The Poohniverse is expanding with new films like
    Monsters Assemble
    and
    Peter Pan’s Neverland Nightmare
    .
  • Despite challenges with acquiring popular horror icons, the Poohniverse is on track to become a niche but ambitious franchise.



Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey may have “won” every Razzie it was nominated for, but it made a profit. The budget was a mere $50,000, raking in nearly $5 million worldwide, a massive multiple on its budget but not quite an A-list horror number. Even still, that profit margin ended up being the unexpected start of not just a franchise but a cinematic universe. And, now, Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 has had its three-day run in theaters, with a newly-announced third film on the way.

But Winnie is going to be far from alone—not just in Blood and Honey 3 but also in 2025’s Poohniverse: Monsters Assemble. As of now, the powers that be behind the saga have confirmed that Monsters Assemble is directly inspired by two IP team-ups: Freddy vs. Jason and The Avengers. As for the latter franchise, Poohniverse is even emulating the film title text style of that major corner of the MCU.


Surprisingly enough, Winnie-the-Pooh:Blood and Honey 2 debuted with a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score. While that number has dropped considerably, it’s still a night-and-day improvement over the first film, which received a 3% approval rating. So, things are looking up, and if that continues (along with budget increases), the whole Poohniverse could become an iconic franchise in horror cinema history. Big things have small beginnings, which could be said of the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street franchises. Perhaps a merger is in order.


The Benefits of the Public Domain for the Poohniverse

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For the most part, after a literary work has been in publication for 95 years, its rights go to everyone. In other words, it has entered the public domain. This can also happen exactly 70 years after the passing of the work’s author. So, on January 1, 2022, A.A. Milne’s 1926 book Winnie-the-Pooh became public domain. And, along with the title character, so did Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga, and Roo.

Winnie The Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Piglet, Kanga and Roo walking through the Hundred Acre Wood in Winnie the Pooh
Disney

At that point, British schlockmaster Rhys Frake-Waterfield saw an opportunity to not only make some cash but also ruffle some feathers. As horror film fans have learned, an opportunity to turn a single Razzie-sweeping cheapo movie into a sweeping, blood-soaked universe. That said, if there’s going to be a cinematic universe, it can’t just be Iron Man going up against Thanos or the Chitauri—he needs to have his pals, too.


What Films Are Confirmed for the Poohniverse?

Recolored Poohniverse poster of horrific monsters from Winnie the pooh blood and honey

The same year Winnie-the-Poo entered the public domain, Austrian author Felix Salten’s Bambi, a Life in the Woods found itself in the same boat. Come July 4, The Twisted Childhood Universe will get its second A-list icon when the titular deer exacts vengeance on those who slaughtered his mother in Bambi: The Reckoning.

Like Phase 1 of the MCU, the first phase of The Twisted Childhood Universe will consist of six films. The fourth will be Peter Pan’s Neverland Nightmare (tentatively scheduled for October 2024), considering that the character’s debut (alongside none other than Steamboat Willie) entered the public domain on January 1, 2024.

The puppet Pinocchio, who entered the public domain back in 1960, will close out Twisted Childhood‘s four-movie 2024 run with Pinocchio Unstrung. But come 2025, the culmination of Twisted Childhood‘s first phase will be released. In that film, Pooh, Peter Pan, Bambi, and Pinocchio (as well as Sleeping Beauty, The Mad Hatter, Tinkerbell, and the already-introduced Tigger and Piglet) will team up to cause more devastation than the Avengers have prevented.


While (according to Variety) those behind the Poohniverse would love to have icons such as Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, or Ghostface on the poster, that’s extremely unlikely to ever come to fruition. Even if just for a cameo.

Why the Poohniverse May Not Feature Freddy or Jason

Neither Friday the 13th nor A Nightmare on Elm Street is in the public domain and will not be for quite some time. The same applies to each franchise’s antagonist: Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger, respectively. Considering how many years it took to get Freddy and Jason under the same banner (Specifically, New Line Cinema’s), they can be difficult characters for filmmakers to get their hands on. As the recent (and, fortunately, resolved) lawsuit over the rights to the first film showed, they can be expensive as well.


But, with the budgets of the Poohniverse movies getting boosts (according to The Hollywood Reporter, Blood and Honey 2 has a price tag about 10 times that of the first film), perhaps at some point Altitude Film Distribution could at least borrow the rights from Warner Bros. Pictures. After all, the latter owns the rights not just to Jason, but Freddy as well. It would certainly help boost the profile of this gore-soaked universe.


Will the Poohniverse always be at least somewhat niche? Of course, not everyone will get on board for the core spirit of their childhood favorite characters getting eviscerated. Not to mention the evisceration these movies have the aforementioned childhood favorites unleash upon others. But, at the end of the day, it’s a testament to the ambition of Frake-Waterfield, the Poohniverse’s Kevin Feige, that at some point Winnie-the-Pooh could stand next to Jason Voorhees. Even if that proximity isn’t ever shown on camera, it could very well be the case when it comes to discussions between slasher film aficionados.

Related

Winnie the Pooh Horror Sequel Star Reveals That Things Are About to Get Meta

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 star Scott Chambers reveals that things are going to get more meta as ‘The Poohniverse,’ emerges.


In the worst-case scenario, the Poohniverse could always reference the hockey-masked and razor-gloved icons. If it’s done in a subtle and interesting way, it could be a perfectly legal and appreciated homage. After all, horror film fans love it when one horror movie references another (e.g., that The Hills Have Eyes poster hanging on the wall in The Evil Dead‘s cabin basement was and remains a neat Easter Egg). Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey is currently streaming on Peacock.

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