Every Movie Planned For The Twisted Childhood Universe

Establishing a shared cinematic universe is hard. Take Warner Bros. and DC's attempt at matching the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, for instance. Though it had some commercial successes, the DC Extended Universe ultimately disintegrated over the course of several recent box office bombs that included superheroic flop "The Flash." Then, there was Universal, with its ill-fated Dark Universe, which would have seen updated takes on classic Universal monsters inhabiting a shared timeline that would ultimately lead to some sort of monster team-up. Unfortunately, the whole thing failed almost instantly with the disappointment that was 2017's "The Mummy."

Now, with the almighty MCU even struggling to maintain its dominance amid the deluge of "content" being pumped out in its name, it seems harder than ever to construct and maintain a successful shared cinematic universe. But that won't stop horror director Rhys Frake-Waterfield, who is now threatening an entire interconnected franchise based on his twisted versions of beloved childhood characters.

Things kicked off in less than auspicious fashion with 2023's "Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey," a humorless bloodbath of a film that took advantage of the fact that A. A. Milne's charming tale of childhood innocence had entered the public domain, notching just 3% on the almighty Tomatometer in the process. Undeterred (and buoyed by his film's $5 million box office take on a $50,000 budget), Frake-Waterfield pushed ahead with a sequel, "Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2," which was generally a better film (though critics still weren't all that impressed).

Now, with the "Blood and Honey" saga firmly established, we're witnessing the beginning of what Frake-Waterfield has dubbed the "Twisted Childhood Universe," with several other films based on similarly warped versions of classic children's' characters set to debut over the next few years. Here's everything Frake-Waterfield and his co-conspirators have planned.

Bambi: The Reckoning

Nope, not even Bambi is safe from the horror genre. But then, who hasn't been asking to see Bambi as a vicious killing machine? It's been a long time coming, but finally we get to see this figure of childhood innocence twisted into a slasher killer in "Bambi: The Reckoning." Much like with their "Blood and Honey" films, ITN Studios and Jagged Edge Productions will take the well-known story of the orphaned fawn and give it a horror twist. Using Felix Salten's 1923 novel "Bambi, a Life in the Woods" — which in turn inspired the 1942 Disney movie — as inspiration, "The Reckoning" will unleash a monstrous version of Bambi hell-bent on revenge.

A trailer for the film debuted in April, 2024, giving us a look at a truly ferocious version of Bambi flipping a car, alongside a description that revealed brief details about the plot: "We follow Xana (Roxanne McKee) and her son Benji (Tom Mulheron) who find themselves in a car wreck and soon hunted down by the vicious killing machine, Bambi." Lovely stuff. "The Reckoning" will be the first film in the "Twisted" universe that isn't directed by Rhys Frake-Waterfield, who instead will produce alongside his "Blood and Honey" partner Scott Jeffrey. Taking on directing duties for "Bambi: The Reckoning" is Dan Allen, working from a script by Rhys Warrington and Felix Salten.

A quick look at the social media accounts of some of the people involved reveals the movie began and ended shooting in January, with some noting that it apparently took less than 15 days to shoot this thing, so, there's that. The movie is planned for a fall 2024 release but there's no official date just yet.

Peter Pan's Neverland Nightmare

Not content with two lackluster Winnie-the-Pooh horror films and a Bambi spinoff, Rhys Frake-Waterfield has more movies planned to ruin your childhood. After "Bambi: The Reckoning" we'll all be treated to a desecration, or ... er reimagining, of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, entitled "Peter Pan's Neverland Nightmare." Frake-Waterfield is set to direct, and told The Hollywood Reporter back in November 2022:

"That world's got a lot of interesting elements we can have fun with. All the characters are meant to be really innocent, and when you think of Tinker Bell, she's this sweet, cute little fairy. But we're going to make her heavily obese and recovering from drugs."

Since then, director Scott Jeffrey has revealed more about the project, telling Bloody Disgusting he's aiming to take inspiration from "French cinema" to create an "incredibly tense" film that follows Wendy as she tries to "track down her brother, Michael, who has been abducted by Peter Pan." The director added, "I would say it's a mesh between 'Switchblade Romance' and 'The Black Phone' with our own spin on it. It is a nasty, violent and incredibly dark movie."

Casting has also been confirmed, with Megan Placito set to play Wendy Darling, while Kit Green will play the bloated, drug addicted Tinkerbell. Peter DeSouza-Feighoney ("The Pope's Exorcist") and Charity Kase ('RuPaul's Drag Race") will also appear in the film, which is set to shoot in May of 2024 ahead of a planned Halloween release.

Pinocchio: Unstrung

Rhys Frake-Waterfield isn't the only one taking characters tied to Disney and reimagining them. 2022 saw the House of Mouse debut their live-action version of "Pinocchio" while a competing version, "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio" also launched that same year. And wouldn't you know it, del Toro's version managed to outdo Disney, winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 2023 Oscars.

Now, it's time to see whether the "Twisted Childhood Universe" can match del Toro's accomplishment with "Pinocchio: Unstrung." This planned entry in the shared universe will, of course, be a horrific reimagining of Italian writer Carlo Collodi's 1883 children's novel "The Adventures of Pinocchio." Jagged Edge Productions announced the project as yet another entry in the TCU back in January 2024, via Bloody Disgusting. Production is set for summer 2024 ahead of a planned theatrical release in late 2024, with Frake-Waterfield back onboard as director alongside Scott Jeffrey (Chambers). A brief glimpse of the "Unstrung" version of Pinocchio was seen during the credits for "Blood and Honey 2," revealing the titular puppet to be a, surprise surprise, monstrously disfigured iteration of the beloved children's character.

Poohniverse: Monsters Assemble

You can't have a shared universe without it leading to some sort of grand team-up, and "Poohniverse: Monster's Assemble" is the TCU's attempt at just that. Announced in March 2024, this crossover will unite horror versions of Winnie-the-Pooh, Bambi, Peter Pan and more, and is set for release in 2025. Revealed via Variety, this twisted team-up represents Rhys Frake-Waterfield's most obvious attempt to take a page out of the MCU playbook by leveraging the momentum created by each of the individual movies in the franchise to create one big event film. Even the font on the poster looks almost identical to 2012's "Avengers."

Are we about to witness an "Avengers"-level success with "Poohniverse: Monsters Assemble"? Well, no. But it might well do better than many of the individual movies as the novelty of seeing Pooh riding a deranged Bambi while swirling a blood-stained bear-trap and hunting down Wendy from "Peter Pan's Neverland Nightmare" is surely enough to entice horror fans even if they're sick of the trend of transforming individual children's characters into terrifying freaks.

Directed by Frake-Waterfield, "Poohniverse" will pit the monsters against survivors from the previous films, but as Christopher Robin actor and producer on both "Blood and Honey" movies Scott Chambers told Variety, there will also be "carnage within the group" and "epic sequences of monster vs. monster." Chambers will reprise his role as Christopher Robin in the film, alongside Megan Plactio as Wendy from "Peter Pan's Neverland Nightmare" as well as numerous other actors from the TCU.

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 3

Rhys Frake-Waterfield won't let bad reviews stop him, which depending on how you feel about these Winne-the-Pooh horror movies is either a brave act of defiance propelled by an admirable self-confidence, or indicative of a worrying inability to apprehend the sheer scale of the films' abject shabbiness. Either way, we're getting more of these things, and "Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 3" is next.

Following what is sure to be an absolute bloodbath in "Poohniverse", Winnie-the-Pooh and his 100-acre Wood chums will return for a third go round, with "Blood and Honey 3" set to continue to murder copyright law. At this stage, however, plot details are nonexistent. That said, Frake-Waterfiled and Scott Chambers have claimed the film will have a bigger budget than its predecessors and will introduce other "Winnie-the-Pooh" characters including Rabbit, the heffalumps, and the woozles. Variety also noted that it's not yet known whether "Blood and Honey 3" will go into production before or after "Poohniverse."

Other than that, details about the threequel are scarce at this early stage, but considering Frake-Waterfield and Chambers' keenness to crank out these films in quick succession, you can bet you'll be hearing more about this one much sooner than you might think. That said, the initial box office results for "Blood and Honey 2" are looking pretty disappointing, especially in comparison with the first film, so it might be that we never return to this particularly wretched version of the 100-acre Wood.

Awakening Sleeping Beauty

This is the most mysterious of all the planned TCU films. "Awakening Sleeping Beauty" was seemingly confirmed after a fan noticed the film's IMDB page and asked the official "Blood and Honey 2" Twitter page whether it was real. The reply was a simple "Yes," seemingly confirming that Rhys Frake-Waterfield has plans to give Charles Perrault's 1697 fairy tale the TCU treatment.

So far details are, as you might imagine, scant. But the official IMDB page lists Scott Chambers and Rhys Frake-Waterfield as directors. There are reports that British/Bulgarian actress Lora Hristova has been cast in the title role, but that hasn't been officially confirmed as yet. Meanwhile, another horror retelling of Charles Perrault's 1697 fairy tale entitled "Sleeping Beauty's Massacre" (currently known as "Ouija Castle" on IMDB) is also set to debut in the near future, though as far as we know this isn't related to the TCU.

The most recognizable version of the Sleeping Beauty story is, of course, Disney's 1959 film, which will mean Frake-Waterfield and co. will continue the theme of ruining beloved Disney movies should "Awakening Sleeping Beauty" ever rise from its slumber.

Will any of this actually happen?

At the time of writing, "Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2" has made just $594,000 on a budget of around $500,000. Compare that to the first film's $5 million on a $50,000 budget and things aren't looking all that great for this burgeoning interconnected universe. "Blood and Honey 2" may have debuted with a perfect Rotten Tomatoes score, but it seem the novelty of a homicidal Pooh might be wearing off. Either that or audiences were so disappointed by the first film they're simply not turning up for this one.

But Frake-Waterfield, who aptly proclaims himself to be a "ruiner of childhood memories," seems absolutely dedicated to his mission of destroying beloved childrens' characters, and Jagged Edge Productions certainly seem onboard. There's even a Marvel-esque roadmap image, charting the various films in the TCU leading up to "Poohniverse." With that in mind, it seems the guys behind these films are intent upon churning them out regardless of what happens.

But if these perversions of stories known mostly for their Disney interpretations doesn't work out, Rhys Frake-Waterfield also harbors desires to take on a plethora of other stories synonymous with childhood. As the director told The Hollywood Reporter:

"There are many, many, many other ideas out there which aren't tied to Disney, loads of old fairytales and urban legends, concepts that are synonymous with your childhood, and they're the ones which I want to build up into a twisted alternative reality."