Tom Hanks is being reported as being in early talks to join Disney’s live action ‘Pinocchio’ movie as the wooden boy’s “father” Gepetto. The movie will be directed by Paul King, who helmed the two ‘Paddington’ movies. Reportedly, he has asked his ‘Paddington’ collaborator Simon Farnaby to handle the final draft of the screenplay. Jack Thorne (‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’) handled a previous draft, with input from input by King and Chris Weitz (‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’) who is serving as producer on this project.
King is coming off of ‘Paddington 2′ which is the most critically acclaimed film of all time, with a perfect 100% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes, so that may be an enticement for Hanks’ interest. Off the strength of that picture, King has not only scored the ‘Pinocchio’ job but another high-profile gig, the ‘Willy Wonka’ prequel.
Disney’s original animated ‘Pinocchio’ was released in 1940, was the second feature length animated movie by Disney, and remains a beloved classic. Disney has had this live-action remake in the works for a while, but Guillermo del Toro has recently announced plans for his own stop-motion animated take for Netflix, which would be a weightier tale based more closely on the dark original novel written by Carlo Collodi in 1883. But with that version going directly to Netflix, it’s not likely that it is considered direct competition for Disney’s live-action take.
Warner Brothers was working on a live-action ‘Pinocchio’ which was rumored to have Tim Burton interested in directing, with Robert Downey Jr. to star, but there hasn’t been much news about that adaptation in a few years, so it’s likely that it has been abandoned. Bryan Fuller penned one draft of the script, with Jane Goldman reportedly coming on to rewrite it.
Hanks was last seen in last year’s drama ‘The Post’. He will next appear in the war movie ‘Greyhound’, and the Mister Rogers biopic which currently doesn’t have a title, but was using the working title ‘You Are My Friend’. He will, of course, also be heard in Disney’s ‘Toy Story 4‘.
Hanks is due to begin filming Robert Zemeckis’ ‘Bios’ in February, however, Disney hopes to have ‘Pinocchio’ in development in May, so they may need to be some shuffling to accommodate his schedule.
What do you think of Tom Hanks playing Gepetto? Are you excited about a live-action ‘Pinocchio’?