×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Robert Zemeckis in Talks to Direct Live-Action ‘Pinocchio’ for Disney (EXCLUSIVE)

Robert Zemeckis is in early talks to direct Disney’s live-action “Pinocchio.”

Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz will produce through their company Depth of Field with Weitz penning the script. “Paddington” director Paul King had originally been tapped to direct but had to leave the project for unknown reasons at the beginning of the year. David Heyman, who was on board to produce, is also no longer involved with the film.

Though a deal hasn’t closed yet, Zemeckis has been eyeing the project since this summer. He was still, however, working on his current pic “The Witches” for Warner Bros. and didn’t want to commit to a new film until “The Witches” made more progress in production. With that film in post-production now, Zemeckis began turning his sights on his next project, with “Pinocchio” high on his list.

The famous director will now look to gear up the casting process, specifically trying to find his Geppetto. At one point, Tom Hanks was circling the role, but eventually passed. Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz are producing. King, Weitz and Simon Farnaby wrote the most recent draft.

The original animated movie tells the tale about a living puppet who, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.

Popular on Variety

There was a time when the studio was considering the title for Disney Plus after dissapointing box-office results for “Dumbo” but Zemeckis’ involvement would suggest it’s the likely the studio sticks with the theatrical route.

Disney continues to see its live-action adaptation strategy as a major part of its pipeline, with this year’s “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” both crossing the billion dollar milestone this year.

In recent years, Zemeckis has been more focused on adult-centered dramas like “Flight,” “Allied” and “Welcome to Marwen,” and less interested in the tentpoles that made him famous early in his career. Zemeckis has started to come back around on those family-friendly films like “Back to the Future,” having just finished Warner Bros.’ adaptation of “The Witches” starring Anne Hathaway.

Miano and Weitz also recently produced the critically acclaimed drama “The Farewell.”

Zemeckis is repped by WME.

More Film

  • “Facing It,” an eight-minute 30 second

    U.K. Short 'Facing It' Takes Top Prize at 2019 VIEW Awards

    “Facing It,” a claymation/live-action film about how relationships mold people, has won the 2019 VIEW Conference Award for best short film. The film was written and directed by Sam Gainsborough and co-written by Louisa Wood and produced at the National Film and Television School’s Beaconsfield Studio in Beaconsfield, U.K. The VIEW Awards are an offshoot [...]

  • THE CINEMA' 'FRAILTY AT LAEMMLE' FILM

    Laemmle Theatres Arthouse Chain No Longer Seeking Buyer

    Los Angeles-based arthouse chain Laemmle Theatres has stopped seeking a buyer, four months after putting itself on the sales block amid slow sales. Greg Laemmle, president of the 81-year-old exhibitor, announced the development Thursday. He told Variety that discussions with an unidentified buyer had reached an advanced stage but fell apart and that there has [...]

  • Morgan Freeman Lori McCreary Gary Lucchesi

    Film News Roundup: Morgan Freeman's Revelations Teams With Gary Lucchesi for Production Venture

    In today’s film news roundup, Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary and Gary Lucchesi are teaming up; Zolee Griggs, Sara Rue and Ed Quinn are cast; and “Clementine” finds a home. JOINT VENTURE Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary’s Revelations Entertainment is teaming with former Lakeshore Entertainment president Gary Lucchesi for a joint production venture. Lucchesi will develop [...]

  • 'When Lambs Become Lions' Review: A

    Film Review: 'When Lambs Become Lions'

    “For us, ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants,” says Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta in a televised statement, shortly before several vast hauls of severed elephant tusks — ornately piled like sacred shrines — is ceremoniously set ablaze. It’s a confiscated collection that, Kenyatta tells his audience, is worth $150 million, literally going [...]

  • Shannon Hoon

    Live Nation Productions Boards Danny Clinch-Helmed Blind Melon Doc 'All I Can Say'

    Live Nation Productions and Double E Entertainment have signed on as executive producers of “All I Can Say,” the documentary film featuring footage shot entirely by the late Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon. The film’s title is taken from the opening lines of Blind Melon’s instantly recognizable 1993 smash, “No Rain.” Culled from Hoon’s archives, the [...]

  • Tom Hanks stars as Mister Rogers

    How Mr. Rogers Influenced the Pacing of 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood'

    Fred Rogers was an icon to many. Everyone who met him and knew him says, “He really was like that.” He spoke in a soft voice and he was kind. He believed in doing good to others. He spoke to children in “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” in a soft voice, helping them to process complicated emotions [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content