As Disney continues to roll out live-action reboots of their beloved animated classics, Deadline recently dropped the news that Oscar-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes is currently in talks with the Mouse House to helm a new update of Pinocchio for the studio. Chris Weitz, who earned an Oscar nod for co-writing the 2002 comedy About a Boy, penned the current iteration of the screenplay. Weitz has experience in the field, having previously written the 2015 Disney reboot of Cinderella; his recent credits include co-writing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and co-penning the upcoming The Mountain Between Us.
Pinocchio tells the story of “a living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.” The original Disney animated feature was released in 1940 and has since become of the studio’s most enduring classics. The story came from Carlo Collodi’s 1883 children’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio.
For Mendes, this move follows his two-picture stint as director of the 007 entries Skyfall and Spectre. Prior to his turn to franchise filmmaking, Mendes helmed critically admired dramas including Revolutionary Road (2008), Jarhead (2005) and Road to Perdition (2002). His feature debut was American Beauty (1999), which won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and a Best Director trophy for Mendes.
The live-action updating of Pinocchio is in keeping with the Mouse House’s current trend. In recent years, the studio has successfully adapted such animated classics as The Jungle Book, Cinderella and Maleficent, with many more set in the years to come. This past year, the studio revamped Beauty and the Beast – featuring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens – which has brought in more than $1 billion worldwide in ticket sales.
We shall stay tuned to the latest on Pinocchio.