EXCLUSIVE: Sam Mendes is in early talks to direct Disney’s live-action Pinocchio; Chris Weitz wrote the current version of the script and will also be producing through his production company, Depth of Field. The move would push forward yet another live-action reboot of the old tried and true animated classic for the studio. Disney’s feature film strategy has been working well as its live-action Beauty And The Beast has made $1.2 billion worldwide and the photorealistic The Jungle Book grossed $966.5M worldwide.
Jungle Book director Jon Favreau is tuning his Jungle Book VFX for The Lion King and Tim Burton is ready to roll on Dumbo. Others in the mix are The Little Mermaid, a Cruella De Vil movie, Aladdin, and Mulan.
The studio is also rebooting Mary Poppins and got a nice shout-out the other night from Dick Van Dyke at the premiere of HBO and George Shapiro’s If You’re Not In The Obit, Eat Breakfast. Van Dyke said he plays the son of the old banker in the film and also does a dance number in it. Despite being 91, he is still very agile.
Mendes just opened a play in London, directing playwright Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman which stared Paddy Considine — and by the way, sold out within a day at the Royal Court. It has since closed at the Royal Court and will open at the West End on June 20.
Mendes, who won an Oscar for directing American Beauty and whose credits include the James Bond films Spectre and Skyfall, is repped by CAA, The Agency and law firm Ziffren Brittenham.