With Hollywood’s current fairy-tale craze in full swing thanks to the runaway success of Disney’s Cinderella, Warner Bros. and Team Downey are pressing ahead with a live-action Pinocchio remake and have tapped The Master writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson to write a draft.
The Giver scribe Michael Mitnick penned the most recent version of the script, which had previous drafts by Bryan Fuller and Jane Goldman. Robert Downey Jr. had been tweaking Mitnick’s take over the past six months in order to try to create the right feel for the live-action pic. Now, though, it appears that he’s passed it off to Anderson, a good friend with whom he’s been attempting to collaborate for some time.
WB and Team Downey are looking at Anderson to perfect the script and then direct, marking a departure from the helmer’s more dramatic, narratively complex films (he last made psychedelic detective mystery Inherent Vice).
Pinocchio has been a passion project of Downey’s for years, and the actor has been in line to play puppetmaker Geppetto since late 2012. Tim Burton was poised to direct at one point, and Ben Stiller was also in contention around the same time his Secret Life of Walter Mitty was making waves, but that obviously didn’t work out.
Fairy-tale movies have been generating huge interest in Hollywood since Tim Burton piloted Alice in Wonderland to a billion-dollar box office and Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent became a massive hit. Now that Cinderella has showed studios that audiences will turn out in droves even for traditional takes, the race is on to remake seemingly all the classics, from this fall’s Pan (another WB production) to Disney’s upcoming Beauty and the Beast, Jungle Book and Dumbo remakes.