“I was astonished to discover, after reading the screenplay, that Christopher Robin was real. I think we had all enjoyed the books, but never computed that actually, Christopher Robin was inspired by A.A. Milne’s own son,” Goodbye Christopher Robin producer Damian Jones said of the true-life basis for the Fox Searchlight film. He spoke during Deadline’s inaugural The Contenders London event this month.

Directed by Simon Curtis, the drama explores the tragic true-life basis for the character of Christopher Robin in English author Milne’s beloved Winnie-the-Pooh series.

Speaking with Deadline’s Diana Lodderhose, Jones expressed his hope that audiences will also discover the personal story for themselves, and take away a new understanding of the creation of Milne’s characters. “To discover and know that joy the books brought, but at the same time, the conflict and sadness it brought to the boy and the family itself, that was all new to me, and that’s what was the inspiration,” Jones recalled. “If I didn’t know that story, then maybe others would discover it for themselves, and find it equally interesting.”

Check out more of the conversation above.