Jospeh Gordon-Levitt will provide the voice of Jiminy Cricket, while Cynthia Erivo will play the Blue Fairy in Disney’s live-action retelling of “Pinocchio.”
They join a cast that includes Tom Hanks as Geppetto and Luke Evans as The Coachman. In addition, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, who previously starred in “Flora and Ulysses,” will voice Pinocchio, the puppet who dreamed of becoming a real boy, with Keegan-Michael Key as the voice of Honest John and Lorraine Bracco as the voice of Sofia the Seagull, a new character.
Gordon-Levitt’s credits include “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Lincoln,” and “Looper.” He recently starred in Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” Erivo is a Tony winner for “The Color Purple” and was recently nominated for an Oscar for her work in “Harriet.”
Gordon-Levitt is expected to sing in the film. However, he likely won’t sing “When You Wish Upon a Star,” as Jiminy Cricket does in the original animated film. The new film will include that song (which became an anthem of sorts for the Disney brand), but it may be sung by a different character.
Raiding the Disney archives and remaking animated classics as “live-action” productions has been commercially fruitful for the company, helping it produce blockbuster re-imaginings of “Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” “Cinderella,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Tim Burton’s “Dumbo” was a rare misstep. “Pinocchio” will combine live-action elements with extensive visual effects.
The film will be directed by “Forest Gump’s” Robert Zemeckis and written by Zemeckis and Chris Weitz. Production will begin this month in the U.K. and the film will debut on Disney Plus, the company’s streaming service. Andrew Miano and Weitz are producing through their company Depth of Field along with Zemeckis’s Imagemovers.
TheWrap broke the news that Erivo had been cast.
Updated: 12:16 p.m. PT