EXCLUSIVE: Yet another live-action version of a tried-and-true Disney fairy tale is wending its way to the big screen. Peter Hedges is penning a feature loosely based on the original Pinocchio story about a marionette carved from wood who dreams of becoming a real boy. Pinocchio gets his wish but is prone to stretching the truth, and each time he does, his nose grows longer.
The story is really about the relationship between a father and son, the ramifications of lying and creating stories and living in a fantasy world. Pinocchio came from the mind of author Carlo Collodi, who wrote the 1883 novel The Adventures Of Pinocchio.
This is not the only Pinocchio-inspired film in Hollywood. Guillermo del Toro also has a darker version of that story in development at his company. The Book Of Life producer is planning to co-direct that version from a script he co-wrote with Matthew Robbins. It would be a stop-motion animated 3D film. Foreign financiers are said to be circling that one.
Disney has been combing through its coffers of late, looking for live-action versions of popular fairy tales and has several on the horizon, including The Jungle Book, being directed by Iron Man and Iron Man 2 helmer Jon Favreau; Beauty And The Beast, which will star Emma Watson, Luke Evans and Josh Gad; and Dumbo, to be directed by Tim Burton; and Mulan. There has also been buzz about a live-action Winnie the Pooh-inspired tale in development. What a smart business plan by the powers that be at the studio led by Alan Horn.
Disney brought the animated version of the original Pinocchio story to the screen in 1940, and it has been remade several times both in toon and live-action versions, once with Mickey Rooney (1957). The story has come to life on the small and big screens in the U.S. and in overseas productions, the most memorable in recent years being Roberto Benigni’s Pinocchio. Another loosely based version starred Verne Troyer as a killer puppet in a 1996 horror pic from Trimark called Pinocchio’s Revenge.
Hedges is repped by CAA and attorneys Marc Glick at Glick & Weintraub and Stephen Breimer at Bloom, Hergott.