Ron Howard In Contention To Helm Robert Downey Jr.’s Pinocchio Movie

New York premiere of 'In the Heart of the Sea'

In The Heart of the Sea director Ron Howard has emerged as the frontrunner to helm Robert Downey Jr.’s long-gestating Pinocchio, according to The Tracking Board, with the outlet claiming that “things are expected to move quickly.”

For the longest time, it appeared that Paul Thomas Anderson would pull the strings on the Warner Bros. flick, while Tim Burton and Ben Stiller were also attached before eventually bowing out. That’s a revolving door that has seen many a writer come and go as well. In years past, Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, X-Men: Days of Future Past), Michael Mitnick (The Giver), and Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) have each taken a crack at the live-action fairytale.

From what we understand, Downey Jr. still intends to play the role of Geppetto, chronicling his tragic story as he sets out to find the whereabouts of his wayward – and totally not real – son.

Howard’s appointment at the helm represents a new lease of life for Pinocchio, and going by The Tracking Board’s report, early signs of the two-time Academy Award winner closing a deal are certainly positive. In The Heart of the Sea may not have pulled in the big numbers for Warner, but it’ll be fascinating to see the ways in which Howard can bring Pinocchio to the silver screen after such a long period spent languishing on the brink of development.

Ron Howard is in contention to produce the live-action fairytale along with Dan Jinks, Brian Grazer, Robert Downey Jr. and his wife, Susan Downey. Before all that comes to pass, however, the filmmaker will close the book on his Da Vinci Code trilogy with the release of Inferno in October.