From Iron Man to … Gepetto?! Robert Downey Jr’s production company (Team Downey) is pairing with Warner Bros. to bring a live-action version of Pinocchio to the big screen. And while the story has been in a holding pattern, six-time Oscar nominee Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood) was recently hired to pen a draft of the script, and may end up in the director’s chair as well.
While many fans know RDJ as Tony Stark, the snide-but-brilliant billionaire inventor who moonlights as a superhero, the actor has been working on bringing this passion project to life for quite some time.
The most recent draft of the script was written by Michael Mitnick (The Giver) and, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the script is based on Carlo Callodi’s original book. Downey has been working to refine the script for the past six months and — with Anderson on board — the team behind the film is ready to move forward and remake the animated classic in live-action form, complete with real boys … and girls.
The film will reportedly join a spate of upcoming live-action Disney adaptations, including The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau; Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson; Tim Burton’s Dumbo (yikes!); Tinker Bell, starring Reese Witherspoon; Winnie the Pooh; Mulan; and Fantasia.
This flood of remakes is, of course, the inevitable response to the huge box office numbers tallied by recent Disney remakes like Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, and Cinderella.
That said, other live-action iterations of Pinocchio haven’t exactly done justice to the source material. Notable failures include Steve Barron’s The Adventures of Pinocchio (1996) and Roberto Benigni’s famously-awful Pinocchio (2002), which was nominated for multiple razzies.
So hunker down movie fans, it appears that Hollywood is ready and willing to remake anything and everything that ever turned a profit. Hopefully RDJ & Co. can do something fresh here and recreate some of the magic of the original — but we’re not buying in quite yet.