Hopefully you’ve enjoyed Disney’s recent reworkings of animated classics into live-action films, because the company isn’t stopping. In fact, it would seem the House of Mouse is interested in doing little else.
After announcing a live-action Mulan a little over a week ago, Disney followed by adding that a live-action Winnie the Pooh movie was in the works as well. Now it looks like Pinocchio himself will finally be played by a real, real, boy in live-action.
The word comes via Deadline who report that the reworking of the classic tale about a magical marionette who yearns to become a real boy will be written by Peter Hedges (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, About a Boy). Apparently the film will be “loosely based” on the original Pinocchio tale, but with themes of father/son relationship and honesty being central to the story.
This seems to imply that a live-action Pinocchio won’t necessarily be a straight adaption of Disney’s previous animated film. Perhaps this version would follow a similar narrative but have entirely new or different characters and setting? For instance, the original novel was published in 1883, but there’s nothing about Pinocchio which requires it to be set in the 19th century.
And there isn’t anything inherently wrong in toying with Pinocchio‘s formula, but if that truly is Disney’s plan, they may want to rethink changing things too much. Looking over their last few live-action remakes, only Cinderella – which stayed very true to its animated roots – was met with such high praise.
Beyond those bare-bone details, little else is known about Disney’s Pinocchio. Yet, this isn’t the only film based on the little wooden boy’s tale rumored to be in the works. For a time, Tim Burton was supposedly working on a live-action Pinocchio with Robert Downey Jr. attached to star as Geppetto and Pinocchio. Once Burton was out, Ben Stiller was rumored to direct, but there’s been no news on this project for a couple years now.
More promising was Guillermo del Toro’s plans for a stop-motion Pinocchio which would be a darker, more macabre take on the tale. Unfortunately, the last update on this movie was also years ago, and with Del Toro moving ahead with Pacific Rim 2, his Pinocchio is probably shelved for the time being.
All in all, it may be Disney’s live-action version of Pinocchio we see first, but keeping in mind this is now the seventh live-action remake Disney has announced, it’ll be some time before it comes to a theater near you. We’ll bring you more news on Disney’s live-action Pinocchio when we have it.
Until the, Disney’s next live-action remake – The Jungle Book – is expected in theaters on April 15th, 2016.