Ron Howard To Direct Robert Downey Jr.'s Pinocchio

Ron Howard Directing

Robert Downey Jr. has been taking over the world of superheroes since the release of the first Iron Man movie in 2008, which helped pave the road for the now well-established Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although playing one of the lead characters in Marvel's shared universe is not an easy task, Downey has been involved in other projects as well, both as actor and producer.

In 2010, Downey and his wife, producer Susan Downey, founded their own production company, Team Downey. Their first movie, The Judge, was released in 2014, but the team has had another project in development for years now: a live-action adaptation of Pinocchio. After not having any updates on this project since it was reported that Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master, Boogie Nights) was working on a draft of the script and was possibly interested in stepping into the director's chair, it now looks as though that role will be filled by none other than Ron Howard.

According to The Tracking Board, the Academy Award-winning director is on board to direct Warner Bros.' adaptation of the classic tale. His producing partner Brian Grazer has also joined the project, alongside producers Dan Jinks, Susan Downey, and Robert Downey Jr., who, in addition to producing, will take on the role of the little wooden boy's creator (and father), Geppetto.

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Other directors previously attached to this new adaptation are Tim Burton, Ben Stiller, and the aforementioned Anderson. The script was originally written by Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daises, Hannibal), and underwent rewrites from Jane Goldman (Stardust, Kingsman: The Secret Service) and Michael Mitnick (The Giver). Plot details are being kept under wraps, but according to The Tracking Board, the story will follow Geppetto as he sets out to find his son after he goes missing. Whether that means the film is a complete retelling of the classic story -- perhaps most famously adapted into the 1940 animated film of the same name by Disney -- or if the studio plans to take another approach with the material is yet to be seen.

One thing is more certain, however: the tale is expected to follow the ongoing trend of live-action adaptations of popular childrens' stories – such as Maleficent, Cinderella, and the upcoming Alice Through The Looking Glass which have proven to be strong performers at the box office.

This isn't the first time Pinocchio has gotten the live-action treatment, though, as the character first appeared in a 1911 film, starring Ferdinand Guillaume. More recent portrayals include 1996's The Adventures of Pinocchio, starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Martin Landau, as well as Roberto Benigni's 2002 adaptation of the tale. Meanwhile, a grown-up version of the character has appeared on the TV series Once Upon A Time, portrayed by Eion Bailey.

Ron Howard's recent works include the biographical adventure-drama In The Heart of The Sea, and the third instalment of the The DaVinci Code franchise, Inferno, which is set for an October 14 release. Now with Howard on board to helm this new take on Carlo Collodi's classic tale, it hopefully won't be long until more details are announced, such as additional casting choices and specific plot details.

Pinocchio does not have a release date yet, but stay tuned for additional details about the film.

Source: The Tracking Board

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