Shut the front door, everyone. The most magical of movie news hit the web today. Ask anyone in the Nerdist office, I may have squealed a little bit. No, seriously. There was a very high pitched noise that came out of my body and I’m okay with it. The news? The best filmmaker alive (in my opinion), Mr. Paul Thomas Anderson, is set to write Robert Downey Jr.’s live-action Pinocchio film.
Get excited, people. REALLY excited. When I heard this, I was like:
Why is this so cool? First, Paul Thomas Anderson is an incredibly talented, innovative filmmaker. Although most people probably associate him more as a director, he has also written ALL of his films. PTA’s characters are always fascinating people. From Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master to Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights, the man knows how to craft complex, interesting stories revolving around compelling personalities.
For obsessive PTA fans such as myself, this move might seem a little out of left field. In reality, it makes perfect sense. Robert Downey Jr. and his father (renowned filmmaker Robert Downey Sr.) are good friends with PTA: the three have known each other for over a decade. Additionally, RDJ was originally in talks to play the role that later went to Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice. The two have wanted to collaborate together for awhile, and Pinocchio is definitely a story that could use a bit of a revamp.
While it’s rumored that Paul Thomas Anderson may be shooting his next project in 65mm, there’s no confirmation of what that film might be. Inherent Vice was hailed by critics, but made only 11 million dollars at the box office — one of his lowest performing movies to date. If Pinocchio proves to be a mainstream hit, it would give PTA leverage to make more small scaled, character driven dramas. Win-win situation. Plus, as the father of four young kids, it would make sense for him to finally get involved with a project that is family friendly. Magnolia isn’t exactly a film that young children should watch. Other acclaimed filmmakers have made similar moves in the past: Noah Baumbach penned the screenplay for Madagascar 3, Alex Ross Perry is tackling Disney’s Winnie The Pooh film. There’s no shame in auteurs working on blockbuster worthy material. More power to PTA for doing something different, I can’t wait to see what kind of whale of a tale he’ll be writing.
What are your thoughts on the project? Let me know in the comments below, or if you want to obsessively talk about PTA movies with someone, please feel free to tweet me @michelledeidre.