As Disney continues to mine through their animation vault, more and more acclaimed directors are climbing aboard live-action adaptations. Sam Mendes (Spectre, American Beauty) is the latest filmmaker to join the club. According to new reports, Mendes is in talks to direct a live-action remake of Pinocchio – not to be confused with the Pinocchio starring Robert Downey Jr. that is being developed at Warner Bros – the 1940 classic film about an elderly, impoverished woodcarver named Gepetto, who creates Pinocchio and wishes upon a star that he could be a real boy.
More on the story below.
Deadline says talks between Disney and Mendes are still in the early stages. Should they come to an agreement, Mendes would be using a script written by Chris Weitz (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). Weitz has some experience in this field as he wrote the screenplay for 2015’s Cinderella, which was a huge hit for Disney. Pinocchio follows a long line of Disney’s efforts adapting their animated classics to live-action films. Hits include Alice In Wonderland, Maleficent, The Jungle Book, and most recently Beauty and the Beast.
This is the latest development for one of the many Disney animated films turned live-action reboots. Disney is currently eyeing Will Smith to voice Genie in Guy Ritchie’s telling of Aladdin and Ewan McGregor is in talks to play Christopher Robin in a Hook-esque live-action telling of Winnie the Pooh.
Other films currently under development are a 101 Dalmatians film focused on Cruella De Vil’s character starring Emma Stone, a Mulan epic directed by Niki Caro, and a new Lion King from Jon Favreau starring Donald Glover as Simba. There’s also a new Little Mermaid coming along with Lin-Manuel Miranda as one of the film’s producers.
Remember, talks are still in the very early stages, so there is a chance that Mendes may walk away from the project. Even if that is the case, it won’t stop Disney from searching for some big name directors.
No release date has been set for Pinocchio, and we will keep you posted on any new developments for these films.