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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.

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.

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