Week in Review: Hollywood planning Play-Doh and live-action Winnie the Pooh movies

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Why does Hollywood keep mining the smallest nooks and crannies of my childhood? This week, two major children’s film projects are reportedly in development.

The first is Disney continuing to pile on to their live-action reboot slate with a reimagining of none other than Winnie the Pooh. How they intend to do this without sending one of the most classic children’s’ characters of all time into seriously uncanny valley territory boggles my mind beyond even singing jungle animals, a flying elephant, or CGI candlesticks and dining sets. Disney didn’t even wait a full week after announcing their previous live-action project, a reboot of Mulan.

Deadline reported Thursday evening that Alex Ross-Perry, director of the indie from last year Listen Up Philip, would be writing the story, in which a fully grown Christopher Robin would return to his old friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. I guess that means we can expect Christopher Robin to be played by Jason Schwartzman. It sounds much like a Toy Story 3 sort of idea, with a now older character who has left his childhood friends behind revisiting them. Of course, the idea of Christopher Robin growing older has been tread several times before, both in A.A. Milne’s books and in Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin, but should he grow older?

The second idea however may be even more bottom of the barrel than yet another children’s movie reboot: Hasbro and 20th Century Fox are planning a movie based on Play-Doh. Yes, Play-Doh, the colored clay that you probably shouldn’t eat but almost certainly thought to as a kid. Hasbro will clearly do anything to mine their properties for potential movies, because apparently a movie about the board game Battleship, a Oijua board and Transformers movies forever isn’t enough.

Deadline also has word that Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy, the upcoming Ghostbusters) is in talks to direct, with Jason Micallef to write the script. Deadline’s immediate defense is The Lego Movie, which was awesome, but then Legos at least have characters with faces and stories and video games to go along with them. Play-Doh is dough you use to play with. Feig will really have to mold something good out of this idea.

Though we laughed at the idea last week that Furious 7 could actually win Best Picture, we are quite excited for the film and are fans of the franchise. The series as a whole has become iconic, and to signify its seventh installment, the people at CineFix as part of their 8-bit Cinema series have imagined the original The Fast and the Furious movie as a classic 8-bit video game. It joins Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hobbit, and The Matrix as movies that have all gotten the 8-bit treatment. Watch it above.

If you needed another reason to see the new Mad Max: Fury Road movie starring Tom Hardy, Variety revealed that Warner Bros. plans to unveil the trailer for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice before Fury Road. Fury Road opens on May 16. Warner Bros. is hoping for success on that front, because they’ve just signed Tom Hardy to three additional Mad Max movies should Fury Road be successful. In an interview with Esquire, Hardy revealed the news and that he says being involved with this project is outside of his comfort zone and is “f—ing unbelievable.”

In last week’s casting news we reported on news that Idris Elba was supposedly playing a villain in Star Trek 3. However, Simon Pegg, who’s writing the film, set his phaser to stun and shot down that rumor. Pegg spoke to Absolute Radio and was quoted via /Film. “That’s not true. No, no, no. I heard there’s a rumor he’s been spoken to about stuff, so he may be in the film but he won’t be a Klingon. [Laughs.] Or maybe he will!” /Film also pointed out that he tried to steer people away from rumors that Benedict Cumberbatch would be Kahn in Star Trek Into Darkness, and we all know how that turned out.

In this week’s casting news, Bill Hader is going to be one of the giants in Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, Anna Kendrick has joined Zac Efron and Adam Devine in the comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, and Kristen Stewart is in negotiations to join Ang Lee’s Iraq War film Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.

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