Bambi to become 'a vicious killing machine' in new horror movie Bambi: The Reckoning

Hunters, beware: There's a new Great Prince of the Forest… and he's on a murderous rampage.

For the past 80 years, Bambi and his woodland pals Thumper and Flower have maintained a sweet, wholesome image thanks to the eponymous 1942 Disney film. Now, the once-adorable deer is set to show off his dark side in the upcoming horror movie Bambi: The Reckoning, EW has confirmed. The horror site Dread Central first reported the news.

From ITN Studios and Jagged Edge Productions, the macabre reimagining of Felix Salten's 1923 novel Bambi, a Life in the Woods will begin production in January with filmmaker Scott Jeffrey at its helm. Rhys Frake-Waterfield, who directed the notorious upcoming slasher flick Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood and Honey, will continue his streak of ruining our childhoods, serving as the movie's producer.

Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by GTV Archive/Shutterstock (390893gc) FILM STILLS OF 'BAMBI' WITH 1942, BAMBI, DAVID HAND IN 1942 VARIOUS
Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by GTV Archive/Shutterstock (390893gc) FILM STILLS OF 'BAMBI' WITH 1942, BAMBI, DAVID HAND IN 1942 VARIOUS

GTV Archive/Shutterstock Disney's original 'Bambi' film

"The film will be an incredibly dark retelling of the 1928 story we all know and love," Jeffrey told the outlet. "Finding inspiration from the design used in Netflix's The Ritual, Bambi will be a vicious killing machine that lurks in the wilderness. Prepare for Bambi on rabies!"

While no further plot details were revealed, we all know how Bambi (and audiences) was left deeply traumatized after his mother was slain by a hunter in the animated Disney feature. That, alone, is enough to send some — we're looking at you, Batman — on a quest for revenge. And frankly, the more we think about it, the more we're kind of with him on this one. Get 'em, Bambi!

The Ritual was known for its gargantuan, spindly-looking creatures, which suggests that this new, ticked-off Bambi won't be your cute, run-of-the-mill deer frolicking through the forest. If Bambi is going to be that scary, we shudder to think what Thumper will look like.

How is this even possible, you ask? Well, it's because Bambi — like Winnie-the-Pooh — entered the public domain this year, which allows the characters to be used in delightful and deadly new ways. (See Pooh bludgeoning his victims with a sledgehammer for all the insight you need.)

Bambi: The Reckoning isn't the only new Bambi movie audiences may soon be fawning over. In the same vein as 2019's The Lion King and 2016's The Jungle Book, Disney is also creating a photorealistic remake of their original film. Although, honestly, having to see a realistic depiction of Bambi's mom's death might technically make it a horror film, too.

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