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Warner Bros. to make live-action ‘Pinocchio’

Dan Jinks to produce, Bryan Fuller will pen script

Warner Bros. is looking to bring “Pinocchio” to life in a live-action feature through producer Dan Jinks with Bryan Fuller tapped to script.

Nick Nantell, vice president of development at the Dan Jinks Co., will be involved in a producing capacity in “Pinocchio.”

Jinks told Daily Variety that he was inspired by Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” to begin work on a new version of “Pinocchio.” “I think we’ve found a fresh approach that’s going to be very entertaining,” he added.

“Pinocchio is one of the most emotional fairy tales. I’m over the moon at the opportunity to play with all the characters in this toy box with a large-scale re-telling,” Fuller said. “It’s exactly why I love writing.”

The tale of a woodcarver who dreams of becoming a real boy first appeared in 1883 in Carlo Collodi’s “The Adventures of Pinocchio.” Walt Disney produced the first feature version of the story with his 1940 feature toon. Francis Ford Coppola tried producing “Pinocchio” in the early 1990s at Warner Bros., but the project stalled and led to his suit against the studio when he couldn’t set it up at Columbia; a jury awarded Coppola $80 million in damages, but that figure was cut to $20 million when a trial judge tossed out the punitive damages. The entire verdict was later reversed in WB’s favor.

The most recent “Pinocchio” adaptation came in 2002 with Roberto Benigni starring and directing.

“Pinocchio” is the first film project for Jinks at his eponymous banner, set up earlier this year. He and Bruce Cohen amicably dissolved their Jinks/Cohen producing partnership in February after producing a half a dozen features including “American Beauty,” “Milk” and “Big Fish”; the producers are still working together on TV projects through a Warner Bros.-based deal.

Jinks and Cohen worked with Fuller on ABC’s quirky dramedy “Pushing Daisies,” which Fuller created. Scribe has a strong following in the fantasy/sci-fi world thanks to “Daisies” and his past TV endeavors including “Dead Like Me” and “Wonderfalls.”

Sarah Schechter is overseeing “Pinocchio” for Warner Bros.

Fuller is repped by WME.

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