Disney’s long-gestating Pinocchio live-action remake may have finally found a director. Back to the Future helmer Robert Zemeckis is in early talks with the studio to take on the project. The studio has had a great deal of luck in revisiting the past recently, as remakes of their animated classics have proved to be highly profitable endeavors. This one has been on the studio’s to-do list for some time, but they’ve had trouble locking down a filmmaker to bring it to life. Zemeckis now seems poised to become the one to do just that.
According to a new report, Robert Zemeckis is in discussions to tackle Pinocchio as his next movie and has been eyeing the project since the summer. However, Zemeckis is currently working on The Witches remake for Warner Bros. It’s said he didn’t want to commit to another big movie until he was on more sure footing with his most recent directorial effort. Now that The Witches is in post-production, Zemeckis is looking to line up his next gig and that’s how talks began with Disney.
Robert Zemeckis is known best as the director of the Back to The Future trilogy but has worked on plenty of classic hits over the years. Some of his other credits include Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Cast Away, Romancing the Stone and Forrest Gump, which went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars. In recent years, Zemeckis has turned to slightly smaller movies, such as Allied and last year’s Welcome to Marwen, which proved to be a pretty sizable bomb at the box office. Zemeckis has also been on the radar for some other big blockbuster gigs as of late, as he was said to be in the running to take on The Flash for Warner Bros. as well.
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Pinocchio was one of the earliest animated features produced by Disney. Released in 1940, the movie centers on a puppet made by a man named Gepetto. One fateful night, the puppet is turned into a real boy. At one point, Tom Hanks was being eyed for the role of Gepetto. It’s said in this report that Hanks passed on the role. Though, it’s worth noting that Zemeckis has collaborated with Hanks several times in the past. So perhaps Zemeckis could find a way to woo Hanks back, assuming his directing deal closes. Chris Weitz (About a Boy) is set to pen the screenplay.
Paul King (Paddington) and Sam Mendes (Skyfall) had been, at various points, previously attached to the remake. Disney’s recent remakes have been big earners. This year alone they had Aladdin bring in more than $1 billion at the box office, with The Lion King doing even more business, taking in $1.6 billion. Dumbo succeeded to a much lesser degree, with $353 million. Other successful remakes from the studio include Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Alice in Wonderland. Pinocchio does not yet have a release date set. This news comes to us via Variety.