Bambi is getting sinister remake into 'a vicious killing machine' in new slasher movie

“Bambi” is about to get much more tragic.

Scott Jeffrey, the director behind horror films “The Curse of Humpty Dumpty” and “The Bad Nun,” revealed in an interview with Dread Central that he’s directing a “dark retelling” of Felix Salten’s nearly 100-year-old novel “Bambi.”

“The film will be an incredibly dark retelling of the 1928 story we all know and love,” Jeffrey told the outlet. “Bambi will be a vicious killing machine that lurks in the wilderness. Prepare for Bambi on rabies!”

The German story centers on the young deer Bambi who navigates life in the forest after his mother is tragically shot to death. Disney later adapted and popularized an animated version, released in 1942.

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Jeffrey is teaming up with Rhys Frake-Waterfield, who wrote, produced and directed the slasher “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey,” expected to arrive Feb. 15.

He also revealed that the inspiration for the reimagined “Bambi” film – titled “Bambi: The Reckoning” – is Netflix’s “The Ritual,” which follows a group of four men who enter a mysterious forest during a hiking trip only to encounter a dreadful creature.

U.S. copyright law is usually limited to the life of the author plus 70 years (“Bambi” author Salten died in 1945). The Copyright Term Extension Act, implemented in 1998, protects corporate authorship rights for 95 years from the first publication or 120 years after its creation, whichever ends sooner. That means Disney’s “Bambi” is still protected, but the company no longer has an exclusive right to Salten’s work.

Jeffrey’s film is the latest children’s story to go dark.

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Waterfield says his horror movie “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” stars Pooh and Piglet as “the main villains going on a rampage” after being abandoned by a college-bound Christopher Robin. Without Robin’s attention, the two once-lovable pals have turned “feral” in their quest for food and survival. “It’s made Pooh and Piglet’s life quite difficult,” Waterfield told Variety in May.

Additionally, director Steven LaMorte is taking the sinister route with “The Mean One,” a macabre parody of the Dr. Seuss character Grinch.

“The Mean One,” set for release Dec. 15, keeps the signature grouchiness of the Grinch and depicts the “green-skinned grump … living on a mountain high above the festive small town of Newville, despising the holiday season,” according to a news release on LaMorte’s website.

The sinister twist is that The Mean One “butchered” the parents of Cindy You-Know-Who, a play on “Grinch” protagonist Cindy Lou Who, two decades ago. Cindy returns to “seek closure” for her parents’ death, only to find The Mean One hasn’t lost his murderous thirst, or his urge “to carve the roast beast.”

Who knows what spooky adaptation we’ll get next.

Contributing: Bryan Alexander, Wyatte Grantham-Philips and Edward Segarra

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bambi horror movie coming from ‘Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey’ team

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