Ryan Reynolds sure knows how to insert humor into any situation, and his latest venture is the reading of a now public domain story we all know and love — except it has a spin to it.
In the U.S., Public Domain Day is Jan. 1, and this year’s day brought a slew of incredible titles into the public domain, which typically happens 95 years after the work’s initial publication.
Reynolds celebrated Public Domain Day by a unique reading of a classic that has entered the U.S. public domain. While the character is one we know and love, we aren’t as sure about the “so-called” original version. Reynolds himself said a particular mouse might have something to say about this storyline.
Winnie-the-Screwed by Mint Mobile with decorations by M.X. Effort is a classic tale of a sweet bear struggling with a huge wireless bill. The beginning of the story reads as follows:
“Here is Edward Bear reviewing his latest bill from Big Wireless. Bump, bump, bump, he slams the front of his head as hard as he can against the table as he realizes how much he’s being charged. It is, as far as he knows, the only way to have a cell phone, because he hasn’t yet switched to Mint Mobile. Anyhow, here he is getting worked over like so many people, and ready to be introduced to you. Winnie-the-Screwed.”
Reynolds’ take on the story is just one example of how someone can reinterpret works after they enter the public domain, and it’s certainly a hilarious one.
So what exactly is Public Domain Day?
Duke Law’s Center for the Study of Public Domain shares more about Public Domain Day.
“On January 1, 2022, copyrighted works from 1926 will enter the US public domain, where they will be free for all to copy, share, and build upon. The line-up this year is stunning. It includes books such as A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh, Felix Salten’s Bambi, Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Langston Hughes’ The Weary Blues, and Dorothy Parker’s Enough Rope. There are scores of silent films—including titles featuring Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, and Greta Garbo, famous Broadway songs, and well-known jazz standards. But that’s not all. In 2022 we get a bonus: an estimated 400,000 sound recordings from before 1923 will be entering the public domain too! (Please note that this site is only about US law; the copyright terms in other countries are different.)”
The list shows that 1926 was a brilliant year for writers and creators, as some of the newly released works are iconic in their genres. Reynolds’ reading is undoubtedly a funny one and his sharing awareness of the day is an exciting reminder of the works that avid fans can now build upon and share!