Hoskins pulls strings for Italian miniseries


ROME -- Bob Hoskins will play Geppetto in a new television miniseries based on the children's story "Pinocchio," Italian state broadcaster RAI said Friday.

Produced by Lux Vide, the series will have a significant U.K. cast, including an as-yet-unnamed British child actor in the title role.

The casting will ostensibly give the project a better chance of airing internationally, but the only distribution announced to this point is RAI Uno, the Italian broadcaster's family-oriented network.

The broadcaster did not provide additional production information, though it was reported the project will be completed next year.

The 19th-century children's book "The Adventures of Pinocchio" is a classic of Italian literature and has spawned dozens of films and plays, the best known of which is Walt Disney's animated 1940 version of the tale.

The last Italian adaptation came five years ago, when Oscar-winning actor-director Roberto Benigni produced, directed, and starred in a critically panned production that is still the most expensive Italian film ever made, with a budget north of $45 million.