Reports are in that Shawn Levy is now attached to direct yet another upcoming noteworthy studio production – alongside 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Voyage remake, a new version of Frankenstein, an amorphous action-adventure with Hugh Jackman, and (possibly) a sequel to the currently-playing Real Steel.

Now it seems that Levy is up to call the shots on The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto, a fairy tale-inspired project that will not be a re-imaginging of its inspiration (re: Pinocchio) – rather, it will be a prequel to that story.

Fox has officially acquired the Three Misfortunes of Geppetto spec script by playwright/screenwriter Michael Vukadinovich and attached Levy as director. It’s one of at least three Pinocchio-related projects in the works, alongside Warner Bros.’ live-action adaptation (which Tim Burton has reportedly expressed an interest in) and the Guillermo del Toro-produced stop-motion animated take on the tale, from the Jim Henson Company.

Here is how Deadline describes Vukadinovich’s Three Misfortunes of Geppetto screenplay:

 It’s a prequel to the story of ‘Pinocchio’, in which Geppetto endures a life of misfortune, war and adventure, all to be with Julia Moon, his true love. The sweep is reminiscent of ‘Big Fish’ or ‘The Princess Bride’ and it creates a fresh way into the Pinocchio story at a time when revisionist fairy tales are dominating the movie landscape.

For those who haven’t been keeping track: the upcoming slate of “re-worked” fairy tale projects includes Tarsem Singh’s Snow White movie, director Rupert Sander’s Snow White and the Huntsman, Disney’s Maleficent, an adaptation of the Little Mermaid literary re-imagining (titled Mermaid), and a retelling of Beauty & the Beast – as co-conceived by del Toro.

geppetto pinocchio Shawn Levy Attached To Helm Pinocchio Prequel

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

It sounds as though Three Misfortunes of Geppetto is taking a (narrative) route similar to next year’s Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, in the sense that both films seek to flesh out and expand upon their respective source material – rather than find a way to retell a classic fairy tale in a creative fashion that resonates more with contemporary audiences. Obviously, Geppetto is aiming for something more whimsical and romantic in tone than the tongue-in-cheek Hansel and Gretel action flick, but both are nonetheless striving to do something other than imaginatively recycle a famous story.

Levy has improved over the years, with respect to his skills as a cinematic storyteller. While Real Steel certainly has its faults, it’s arguably a solid step above Levy’s Night at the Museum movies – which were in turn a notable improvement on Levy’s previous family-friendly directorial efforts (see: Big Fat Liar, Cheaper by the Dozen, The Pink Panther). So, hopefully, he’ll continue to evolve as a filmmaker and deliver a Three Misfotunes of Gepetto movie that’s genuinely heart-warming and tragic.

We will continue to keep you posted on the status of The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto as more information is released.

Source: Deadline

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