Alex Ross Perry has been extremely open and candid about his experiences working with Disney and Christopher Robin.
Far from stoking any controversy with his honesty, the writer and director of indie hits Listen Up Phillip and Queen Of Earth provided a copious amount of insight into Disney’s process when I talked to him about Christopher Robin earlier this month.
Perry didn’t stop there, though, because the filmmaker was just as open when it came to a possible Christopher Robin sequel or sequels, too.
“Whatever conversations have been at a studio level, I’m not blowing anyone’s mind by saying that people talk about sequels to movies before they come out.”
“They don’t really talk about them until they are out. So, yeah, that is something that has obviously been on the back of our minds for years, as is the nature of the business.”
“Should people like this movie I can’t imagine that there’s a world where this new version of Pooh is unwelcome to continue to exist for people. I certainly believe that this new version, which is of course the classic version because we didn’t do anything to him, would be welcome in the culture for a good deal longer.”
Perry was at odds to insist that even though they were conversations about a Christopher Robin sequel, none of that talk actually impacted or changed the final film.
“Truly, it was the least cynical thing in the world, at no point in the outlining or writing of this movie did anyone say anything along the lines of, ‘Well, keeping in mind, this only works if we are setting future things up.’ That is not part of it.”
“That’s not how anyone thinks. Everybody truly thinks how you want people in that position to think. Which is, ‘Let’s just make one good movie.’ It just ends up being a blue sky conversation when you are in London on a two-hour journey to set and you just kind of talk in the car and start talking about that kind of stuff because everyone is feeling it.”
“I just like talking about this stuff because I am a fan. I mean, what does this very successful company do with sequels? How many of these live-action movies have sequels? ‘Alice In Wonderland’ did and it didn’t do so well.”
“So suddenly the idea of sequels to very successful Disney movies becomes a much more interesting business conversation that I have absolutely no knowledge of, but just thinking about it because I enjoy movie news and watching trailers.”
“Part of my positivity about working with these people is that it has been the un-cynical version of what everyone on the internet likes to think they understand and make fun of.”
“No-one in these studios and on these lots, at least in my limited experience is saying, ‘This movie only works if it launches a franchise.’ They are saying, ‘This movie only works if it is good.’”
“I never heard anyone say any of that crass stuff that people online like to laugh at. Like, ‘Oh, all they are thinking about is toys and sequels.’ It is like all anyone is thinking about is making a really good 105-page script and a really good movie.”
Perry was enthused by this process that he has already been discussing future collaborations and projects away from “Christopher Robin” with its producer Brigham Taylor.
“But the other stuff I have talked about with Brigham are not original properties. They are existing properties, and IP. But they are much stranger, much more obscure, and much weirder than this.”
“So I feel like doing something in the same system that is much stranger than this, with perhaps a bit less pressure to put your fingerprints on something so beloved would be a much different challenge, and one I am more eager to try.”
Unfortunately, Perry wouldn’t reveal which Disney property he is looking to adapt next, though.
“It is a property that nobody knows, Brigham, he is an encyclopedia, and he is absolutely incredible to talk to.”
“He is the only person I have mentioned this property to who immediately said, ‘You, know, I have always thought about that.’ Instead of, ‘What the hell is that?’ It is from deep in the Disney vault.”
“It would be something that is really cool. But if not, if this is just my one and done with the studio then at least I came and went with something that matters to people.”
“Christopher Robin” is now in cinemas.