“Shakespeare in Love” actor Simon Callow has been cast in the sequel to micro-budget slasher hit “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.”
Stage and screen star Callow, who has also appeared in “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “The Witcher” among other fare, is set to play a character called Cavendish, who is described by the filmmakers as “a pivotal character with a dark past somehow tied to Christopher Robin.”
“Cavendish’s tragic life, marked with alcoholism, violence and regret, not only brings significant depth to the story, but revelation as well,” the producers tell Variety.
Variety understands Callow was approached via his agents and, liking the character, agreed to sign on for the role.
“Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” debuted earlier this year and quickly became a smash hit, grossing almost $5 million of a budget of less than $100,000.
It was directed by Rhys Frake-Waterfield, who returns to helm the second instalment, as does producer Scott Jeffrey and cinematographer Vince Knight. The sequel is written by “Summer of ’84” writer and producer Matt Leslie, based on a story by Frake-Waterfield and Leslie.
Emmy Award-winner Shaune Harrison (“World War Z,” “Harry Potter”) has also joined the team as head of creature and gore designer.
Playing Pooh this time is Ryan Olivia (“Seasoning House”) who takes over the role from Craig David Dowsett. Peter DeSouza-Feighoney (“The Pope’s Exorcist”) plays a young Winnie while Scott Chambers joins as Christopher Robin.
“Bigger and badder,” says Frake-Waterfield. “The sequel will feature new creature designs, a new cast, and a high death count. However, this time Pooh and friends will be leaving the Hundred Acre Wood to take their fight to the quiet community of Ashdown!”
Leslie said: “After speaking with Rhys and hearing his vision — his desire to push boundaries in terms of production scope, and to craft a really unique, twisty plot that also gave significant depth to the characters — I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. They’re making something special. Something that will absolutely blow people away.”
The film is set to be released Feb. 2024.
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