The live-action remake news isn’t slowing down today, as it is being reported that Robert Zemeckis (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) has closed a deal to direct Disney’s live-action Pinocchio remake.
According to Deadline, Zemeckis will also co-write the next draft with Chris Weitz (Bambi) for a possible Fall/Winter production start. Casting on the project is currently underway. Zemeckis and Weitz will write off the previous draft that the latter penned with Simon Farnaby.
Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz will produce Pinocchio through their company Depth of Field. Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Playwright Jack Thorne recently wrote a draft as well.
Paddington director Paul King had initially been tapped to direct but had to leave the project for unknown reasons at the beginning of the year. David Heyman, who was on board to produce, is also no longer involved with the film. Tom Hanks (Toy Story franchise) was in talks earlier this year to star in the project as the fatherly figure Geppetto but left the project as well.
The film is expected to have a budget of over $150 million, Disney’s live-action remakes of Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book had similar budgets, so expect the House of Mouse to put Pinocchio on a grand scale visually.
Released in 1940, Pinocchio was the second animated movie made by Disney, after 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It adapted the Italian story by Carlo Collodi about a wooden boy puppet crafted by an old carver named Geppetto. The boy is brought to life by a fairy who says he will become a real boy if he shows bravery. The character of Jiminy Cricket becomes his de facto conscience and tried to steer him in the right direction. What follows is a series of adventures that include Pinocchio being kidnapped to be part of a puppet show, getting turned into a donkey, and being swallowed by a whale.