Tom Hanks in Early Talks to Play Geppetto in Disney's Live-Action 'Pinocchio'
Pinocchio may have a new puppeteer.
Tom Hanks is in early talks to play Geppetto in Disney's live-action adaptation of its classic animation, which Paul King, the filmmaker behind the Paddington movies, is attached to direct.
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The project is the next remake to go before cameras as part of the studio's successful strategy adapting its beloved animated films into live-action versions, which shows no signs of lagging interest. Last week, the trailer for Disney's remake of The Lion King became the second-most-viewed trailer ever.
Released in 1940, Pinocchio was the second animated film made by Disney, after 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It adapted a story by Italian author Carlo Collodi about a puppet crafted by an old woodcarver named Geppetto and brought to life by a fairy, who tells him he will become a real boy if he shows bravery. The character of Jiminy Cricket becomes Pinocchio's de facto conscience and tries to steer him in the right direction. What follows is a series of adventures which include Pinocchio being kidnapped to be part of a puppet show, turned into a donkey and swallowed by a whale.
Chris Weitz and his Depth of Field partner Andrew Miano are producing the pic. The script is by King, Weitz and King's Paddington collaborator Simon Farnaby.
Currently, there is a competing Pinocchio project in the works at Netflix, with Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro set to write and direct a stop-motion musical version for the streamer.
Hanks, who is repped by CAA, recently wrapped production of Sony's Mr. Rogers biopic. He last starred in The Post and is also reprising the voice of toy cowboy Woody for next year's Toy Story 4.
One possible complication for any deal is Hanks' next gig, the Amblin sci-fi project Bios. That pic is looking to begin shooting in February, which could conflict with Pinocchio's wished-upon start date in late May.
by Graeme McMillan
by Richard Newby