Tim Burton & Robert Downey Jr. Eye ‘Pinocchio’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 31st, 2013 at 10:20 am,

It seems there are now multiple new Hollywood studio-backed versions of nearly every famous fairy tale either being actively developed or on the verge of hitting theaters (see: this year’s Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman).

Case in point: Italian author Carlo Collodi’s famous “children’s story,” Pinocchio, which is the basis for a new 3D stop-motion flick from the Jim Henson Company and Guillermo del Toro, and a prequel titled The Three Misfortunes of Gepetto from 20th Century Fox – and a live-action project at Warner Bros. that is based on a screenplay by Bryan Fuller (the creator of Pushing Daisies).

Heat Vision has learned that Tim Burton is now considering the Fuller-scripted Pinocchio project as a possible future directorial effort. More so, the iconic Gothic filmmaker reportedly has his eye on getting Robert Downey Jr. to portray the titular puppet-brought-to-life’s “father” - ie., the woodcarver Gepetto. As it turns out, Downey has “expressed serious interest” in the film and also wants to collaborate with Burton.

If Downey does sign on for Pinocchio, then chances are good that Gepetto could play a somewhat more substantial role in the story that he traditionally does. Whether the film will feature a standard iteration of the character as a kindly, but lonely older man – or mix things up by making him more of a comical and offbeat figure (a la most of Downey’s recent roles) – remains to be seen.

Both Fuller and Burton are known for delivering darkly quirky fare that mixes supernatural kookiness with sentiment; the addition of the latter’s trademark warped visual style stands to not only benefit Fuller’s Pinocchio screenplay, but also the original story itself, which is already a pretty twisted children’s tale (as is).

Don’t count on this being a done deal just yet, though. Downey is slated to begin work on Iron Man 3 in the near future, while Burton is said to be considering the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children adaptation as his next directing project. Since Warner Bros. wants to fast-track Pinocchio for production (so as to beat out the competition) the studio could move ahead without the actor-director pair, if they choose to not prioritize their first would-be collaboration.

geppetto pinocchio Tim Burton & Robert Downey Jr. Eye Pinocchio

Geppetto and his famous puppet in Disney’s animated ‘Pinocchio’ movie

Pinocchio with Burton and Downey sounds intriguing for the reasons mentioned before; in addition, the Sherlock Holmes actor has enough of a similar trademark performance style to that of Burton’s usual leading man (Johnny Depp, of course) that the union of the two talents seems all the more natural.

If there’s any reason to be particularly concerned about this team-up, it’s arguablyBurton’s 2010 flick, Alice in Wonderland. That fantastical literature-based project was a massive financial worldwide hit  in theaters… and yet, most people don’t consider it to be nearly as good as it reads on paper. Of course, the similarities between that title and Pinocchio aren’t reason enough to already be especially wary of a Burton-helmed version of the latter (yet), since it genuinely is the sort of dark fantasy that’s right up the filmmaker’s alley.

We will continue to keep you updated on the status of Pinocchio as the story develops.

Source: THR

TAGS: Pinocchio
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  1. Meh…
    I’m a huge RDJ fan, but this movie doesn’t really sound that interesting.

    If it’ll be anything like Alice In Wonderland, I’ll give it a skip ;)

  2. God he’s not even trying anymore is he? first alice in wonderland, then that sleeping beauty, now this. hes just become a self parody

  3. I want to hear more about the Spanish, Del Toro version…

    Putting Burton’s name on something automatically saves me ten bucks

  4. Wow another franchise ( yes franchise Disney will make one out of anything) for Burton to screw up remember Batman or Planet Of The Apes enough said

    • @ JD5DAD

      Burton screwed up Batman? You got him confused with Schumacher. Imo, Burton’s Planet Of The Apes film was good till the ending.

      • Thank you bcuz I was gonna say the same thing. Burton did not screw up Batman, in fact he gave us the first decent rendition of Batman w/ “Batman” and “Batman” returns its Schumacher who ruined the vision that he started by turning the movie into a box of crayola

        • @ Nexus81

          Id like to add WB themselves are to blame as Schumacher for wanting to take the franchise into direction that ended with Batman & Robin.

  5. Johnny Depp to be Pinnochio

  6. I generally enjoy Burton’s films and usually appreciate and love RDJ’s talents and roles, so this seems like a great idea to me. I thought “Alice in Wonderland” was a great sequel to both the previous films and the literary pieces. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of these various projects (the multiple versions of the puppet, the princess, and the peculiar children)…

    • I agree 100%…

  7. Burton/Downey Jr. team up… interesting. I’m game!

  8. As long as it turns out better then the awful Alice In Wonderland, I’d probably give it a shot.

  9. I’m surely in the minority,but I enjoyed Burton’s cinematic take on Lewis Carroll’s classic tale. It certainly had its weak parts(Hathaway’s White Queen being a glaring one),but it was still a great romp.

    That being said,an RDJ/Burton collaboration has been a long time coming,and hopefully,this project gets off the ground quickly and smoothly.

  10. The only movies of Tim Burton’s ive seen i remember are Beetlejuice, Batman & Batman Returns, Mars Attacks, & Sleepy Hollow. I own Beetlejuice both Batman films he directed on dvd. Mars Attacks i thought was ok compared to the newest films he’s made. Sleepy Hollow wasn’t as good as i thought it would be. Only seen it once. I havn’t seen any new movie of his though till this day.

  11. i respect tim burton’s work but i’m not a fan of it at all. he’s a bit too “out there” for me. i wish him the best in his endeavors but i won’t be seeing this one

    • That’s what’s so great about Burton is his being “out there”

  12. If Tim Burton is making this movie CHRIS COLFER should deffinitely play Pinocchio!!!!!!!!