Is there a curse on Pinocchio films? Time after time, films featuring the character are put on hold.
Live-action adaptations of Disney animated films tend to draw mixed-reactions from the public. Praised for their casting or diversity are films like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. On the other hand, Mulan and Aladdin were adaptations that were widely panned or did poorly financially.
A live action version of Disney’s 1940 animated film Pinocchio is currently in the works. Robert Zemeckis, known for directing Forrest Gump and the Back to the Future trilogy will be helming the movie. Set to appear is a star-studded line-up. Joseph Gordon-Levitt will voice Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio’s friend and voice of reason. Additionally Luke Evans will play the Coachman, a figure that whisks Pinocchio away to an island without law or inhibitions. Keegan-Michael Key will portray Honest John, a deceitful yet charming figure who plans to sell the living-marionette to a puppet-master. Benjamin Evan Ainsworth will play the titular character Pinocchio. Tom Hanks is in talks to play Geppetto, Pinocchio’s crafter and father-figure. While Cynthia Erivo will play the Blue Fairy.
Disney+ will be the exclusive streaming platform to view the film, however no confirmed premiere date has been announced.
Disney vs Netflix
Another Pinocchio film is being produced aside from Disney’s adaptation. The Jim Henson Company and ShadowMachine, in co-production with Necropia Entertainment are working on their own version.
This retelling will be a darker, stop-motion, animated musical based on Carlo Collodi’s 1883 Italian novel The Adventures of Pinocchio. Character designs will take inspiration from Gris Grimly’s illustrations. Whilst Disney gave names to its characters, the novel refers to the figures in a more direct manner.
Directing the movie will be Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson. Starring in this version of the film will be an equally talented set of actors. Ewan McGregor will voice the Talking Cricket whilst Tilda Swinton will voice The Fairy with Turquoise Hair.
David Bradley, known for playing Filch in the Harry Potter films will voice Geppetto, and Gregory Mann will voice Pinocchio. In addition, Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike Wheeler in Netflix’s Stranger Things will voice Lampwick, Pinocchio’s best friend. Cate Blanchett will also star in an undisclosed role.
Netflix will be the streaming service where the film is slated for a 2021-2022 release.