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Meet Scott Chambers, the out actor & producer behind The Poohniverse viral sensation

Meet Scott Chambers, the out actor & producer behind ‘The Poohniverse’ viral sensation

Scott Chambers; Winnie-the-Pooh-2
Anastasia Alekseeva; courtesy of Jagged Edge Productions

With Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood & Honey 2 hitting theaters this week, we delved into the mind behind the mega buzzy horror franchise.


Some ideas and projects are so perfectly suited to the culture of the internet that they’re simply destined to go super-viral. Such was the case with Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey, a supernatural slasher based on the beloved children’s series that had entered the public domain. It was exactly the right level of WTF and irony that social media grabbed a hold of it, spread the news far and wide, and led to the film becoming named IMDb’s second most anticipated movie of 2023, topped only by pop culture sensation and Academy Award winner Barbie.

Did that popularity translate into box office gold? Well, we’ll put it this way:The film grossed over 60 times its (admittedly small) budget, so yes, it was certainly a success. Naturally, the film spawned a sequel, Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 (and a third film was confirmed today), which hit theaters this week (and debuted with a coveted 100% Rotten Tomatoes score). But that’s not all: Earlier this month, the filmmakers at Jagged Edge Productions announced that they are launching thier very own cinematic universe known as, you guessed it, The Poohniverse. It will feature a series of films focusing on characters including a monstrous Bambi and Pinnochio, and lead into an Avenger’s style team up in Poohniverse: Monsters Assemble. Say what you will, but they know their marketing and once again the news went super-viral.

Monsters Assemble poster

Courtesy of Jagged Edge Productions

So, who was the marketing genius behind these films? Meet Scott Chambers, the out gay man who not only is a producer on the first film but will be stepping in front of the camera in the role of Christopher Robins for the second film and taking on directorial duties for the upcoming Peter Pan’s Neverland Nightmare. While some critics of the first film called it a cynical cash grab, the truth is a lot more complicated than that.

All his life, Chambers knew he wanted to get into the film industry. The question was how to go about it. As the son of a nurse and plumber, nepotism was out the window, so instead he decided to put his creativity and work ethic to good use. “I was like, ‘What if I make 100 feature films by a certain age? Then if I ever get in the room with people, it’s like, if you give me money I will get the movie made. I did it,” Chambers tells PRIDE. While he succeeded in getting the movies distributed worldwide, the opportunities he was hoping for still hadn’t quite materialized. He thought again about how to catch more attention of would-be financiers and came up with the idea of leaning into a bit of “click-bait”. Eventually seeing that Winnie-the-Pooh had entered into the public domain, Chambers decided that would be an ideal property to work with, but he had no idea just how quickly the idea would take off.

Scott Chambers as Christopher Robins

Courtesy of Jagged Edge Productions

“One night, I just woke up, went to the toilet, went back to bed, but I couldn’t really sleep,” Chambers recalls. “So I was just on Twitter scrolling. And it was like ‘Winnie, Winnie. Winnie.’ I was like, ‘Oh, fuck. People are gonna see this! It was exciting, but it was made on so little [money] and it wasn’t meant for this. It just went nuts.” Chambers quickly kicked production back into gear and began adding reshoots to further flesh out the story for this now seemingly massive audience.

The film took on a life of its own, and when it was released in theaters it drew in the crowds — and the critics. But it was the backlash Chambers experienced online, from the very social media platforms that made the film go wild, that stung the most. “The Twitter and Instagram messages [were] really, really nasty. Some of the stuff Rhys [Frake-Waterfield], the director of Winnie-the-Pooh [received], I really mean this, he works so hard, and the stuff he gets sent,” sighs Chambers. “It was just like geez guys, [it’s] a 20 grand movie.”

Young Winnie the Pooh

Courtesy of Jagged Edge Productions

They did manage to weather the social media backlash, and the films cult popularity along with the box office meant that the second time around they were able to make the kind of movie they would have loved to from the start — and it became a different beast altogether says an enthusiastic Chambers. “This one I really believe in. I think it’s so fun. If you like popcorn horror and you want to see the carnage, there’s probably a death count of 60 in this and there’s some stand-out deaths. It’s fucking cool. I really mean it,” he says.

That all comes from being able to assemble the kind of team and talent that Chambers has been dreaming of throughout his career. “We didn’t really have an SFX team on the first one,” recalls Chambers. “They were just masks that we got online. So on this one, it was really important to find the right creatives.” And they did bring in prosthetics designers Paula Anne Booker (Peaky Blinders) and Shaune Harrison (Game of Thrones, Avengers: Age of Ultron). While this leveled up the look and feel of the characters — homicidal versions of the beloved children’s characters Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, et al — Chambers wanted to make sure that the story too felt more fleshed out (pun intended)

Courtesy of Jagged Edge Productions

“The most important thing was the script, making sure it had heart to it. The first one, it was intended to be just like any ‘80s slasher,” explains Chambers. But this time they wanted to break that formula and so they brought in writer Matt Leslie (Summer of ‘84). “He’s really special as a writer. He came on board after talking to Rhys and he just brought so much to the table and they were brainstorming for months. That’s why when I got offered Christopher the script was really fun. And I’ve always wanted to play Sidney Prescott, and it was my little version.”

Chambers, as a lifelong horror fan he found refuge in the genre and identified with the final girls. “I’ve been watching horror since I was about six years old,” he recalls. “The final girl is the one everyone always looks down on, she’s always the one that’s got this troubled past, and no one quite gets her. You feel like your insecurities are in these films and ... you can kind of go up against these things that seem unbeatable, but you can do it.”

Anastasia Alekseeva

Queerness does factor into the Poohniverse, but Chambers says it’s essential to be present in a way that is normalizing rather than sensationalistic. For instance the first film featured queer female characters who were attracted to one another. In another film, that would no doubt be played up for titillation. “It’s very important to not sexualize it for us,” says Chambers. “I feel like a lot of the time you see LGBT people, but especially with women, it ends up with a sex scene. And it was like, I’m not doing that. I love it when it is just normalized in film. And I feel like that’s just so rare,” says Chambers.

Chambers also has another film in the works that’s more explicitly focused on queer characters and the fears and dangers they face. “I’ve got a script that I’m working on, and it’s a horror film that’s set at a LGBT conversion camp. And that film is so important to me. It’s a lot more serious,” Chambers reveals. “People need to know [about the horrors of conversion camps]. The best thing is you can get the wrong type of audience in, which is what I want. I want them to come and watch it. I want them to see [the horrors of a conversion camp]. I know how I’m going to sell it. It’s going to come across like a demon movie. And then you’ll come in and it’ll be like, bam, got ya!”

Anastasia Alekseeva

But in the meantime, Chambers has plenty to keep him busy, including producing all the films in the Poohniverse, starring as Christopher Robin, and, of course, directing his Peter Pan-inspired horror film. “It was the easiest one to make a horror film of all the ones we’re developing. A man creeps into children’s bedrooms and says ‘I’m gonna take you to Neverland’ is slightly creepy!” he laughs.

His enthusiasm and wicked sense of humor are so utterly infectious, it’s honestly easy to see why he was able to so effectively tap into the zeitgeist. But even more exciting is how Chambers is using that platform to make more films that continue to showcase — textually or subtextually — queer stories. Chambers is excited and hopeful that LGBTQ+ audiences will get a lot of joy from seeing them. “I really hope people feel seen,” he says “And also just have fun! Allow it to be an hour and a half where you let all the crap out the door and you just immerse and you have a laugh. We’re not making A24 films. They’re fun and that’s what I want them to be. I just hope that people will feel seen and just have a bloody good time.”

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood & Honey 2 is in theaters now. Watch the trailer below.

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Rachel Shatto

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Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.