Clearly fed up of being in films that actually make money, Robert Downey Jr., who remains unsure of his involvement in the next phase of the Marvel Universe, is planning on teaming up with Ben Stiller to make a live-action version of classic children’s fairy tale Pinocchio, in which he would portray Gepetto, Pinnochio’s creator.
After originally pitching it to Warner Bros. with Tim Burton to direct, a recent interview with Sky Italia has suggested that the Iron Man star intends to move on with the project. With whom, you ask? His Tropic Thunder co-star Ben Stiller – Tim Burton apparently having flown away for some reason, perhaps startled by a loud noise or bright sunlight.
Ben Stiller is an interesting choice, considering that he seems anxious to work with more dramatic material after his adaptation of James Thurber’s short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has been getting some great buzz from CinemaCon. Maybe a big budget epic fairy tale starring a leading Hollywood actor would be just what he needs to scratch that particular itch.
Robert Downey Jr. goes on to say, in an interview with GQ:
My first pitch! I got real excited about it. I was just thinking about Geppetto as a cross between Jake LaMotta and Chico Marx. It’s such a vital story, but it’s really about this working-class weirdo who invests this inanimate object with all of the qualities he doesn’t have. I’m just crazy about the idea…. To me a wooden boy is a real boy who doesn’t feel like he’s acknowledged.
While the “cross between Jake LaMotta and Chico Marx” thing sounds brilliant, it’ll be difficult for the live-action adaptation to be better than the Disney animated classic, which is for many people the way they imagine the story. Crawling out from under that heavy shadow would be difficult for any director, let alone Ben Stiller.
While the film sounds could be good, here’s a few suggestions to make it a little bit better: firstly, instead of being a wooden boy, could Pinnochio be made of iron? With rockets in his hands to fly about with? And he fights bad guys? Maybe as part of a team? And maybe you could STOP MESSING ABOUT AND JUST BE IRON MAN A BIT MORE BECAUSE NOBODY WANTS TO WATCH A BORING LIVE-ACTION PINNOCHIO ADAPTATION.