We can now add yet another classic animated film from the House of Mouse that is slated to get the live-action treatment, as it now seems that Walt Disney’s 1940 classic Pinocchio is being developed as a live-action feature. Ever since Cinderella did excellent business ($400 million worldwide), Disney has announced plans for no fewer than four live-action adaptations of the animated classics, including Dumbo from Tim Burton, a new Winnie the Pooh, Mulan, and now Pinocchio. That’s in addition to Beauty and the Beast, which has just begun production.
According to the original report, Peter Hedges is writing the script loosely based on the original story “about a boy carved from wood who dreams of becoming a real child. The boy gets his wish but is prone to stretching the truth, and each time he does, his nose grows longer. The story is really about the relationship between a father and son, the ramifications of lying and creating stories and living in a fantasy world.” That doesn’t sound too “loosely based” to me; it pretty much sounds just like the classic story.
This is actually one of three Pinocchio projects in development right now. Director Guillermo del Toro has a “darker” version in the works and Robert Downey Jr. had a version in development at Warner Brothers, although I haven’t hear about that one in a while. Could WB have put it in turnaround, opening it up for Disney to snatch Downey? They already have a tight relationship with the actor thanks to Avengers and Iron Man. Plus, Disney owns so much of what people associate with the story already. From the look of the characters to “When You Wish Upon A Star”, a Disney version would instantly seem like the “official” version, whereas the others might come across as knockoffs. I expect we’ll hear more about Pinocchio and other live-action adaptations at Disney’s D23 Expo later this year.
What are your thoughts on a live-action Pinocchio? What other films deserve the live-action treatment? Let us know in the comments below.