For some reason, everyone wants to make a new Pinocchio movie. Guillermo del Toro tried. Robert Downey Jr. tried. And, of course, Disney is trying, building off the growing success of its live-action remakes of classic animation. Now there’s been a significant update to the Disney version of the tale with Oscar winner Sam Mendes currently in talks to direct.
Mendes, who directed the last two James Bond films and won an Oscar for American Beauty, had been attached to remake James and the Giant Peach for the company but has now moved onto Pinocchio. He hasn’t stated a reason why, but an educated guess would be some combination of two things—Beauty and the Beast’s insane success pushing all of these movies into overdrive being the main one, as well as the emergence of a more advanced script. When the movie was first announced, Peter Hedges (About a Boy) was writing the film. Whether or not that’s still the main draft is unclear.
Pinocchio joins a long (very, very long) list of properties that Disney is currently targeting for live-action remakes. Mulan is likely to be the next one in theaters; directed by Niki Caro, it’s due out in November 2018. Mary Poppins Returns will be after that at Christmas 2018, and Jon Favreau’s Lion King will be out July 2019. In between, Disney has several other dates slotted for potential “Live Action Fairy Tales,” and among the contenders are Tim Burton’s Dumbo, Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, and others.
As for those other Pinocchio movies... I’d be lying if I said there was news.