EXCLUSIVE: Deadline can tell you first that Beauty and the Beast Gaston star Luke Evans will play The Coachman in Disney’s live-action retelling of Pinocchio, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks as Geppetto.
The movie, which was recently announced at Disney Investor Day in December as making its destination on streaming service Disney+, not theaters, is written by Zemeckis and Chris Weitz. Andrew Miano and Weitz are producing through their company Depth of Field. The 1940 Disney animated classic tells the tale of a living puppet who, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy. Box Office Mojo lists the movie with a lifetime gross close to $122M worldwide, however, the original animated feature has always been a vault cash cow for Disney.
Evans is appearing in Nicholas Jarecki’s Crisis feature opposite Gary Oldman, and he currently stars in the The Pembrokeshire Murders, which will launch in the US via BritBox on Feb. 2. Evans recently completed filming a lead ensemble role in Hulu’s mini-series Nine Perfect Strangers opposite Melissa McCarthy and Nicole Kidman, and he is gearing up to begin production on Pinocchio for Disney+ in the spring. Evans feature credits include Furious 7, Ma, Midway, Murder Mystery, The Girl on the Train and The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies.
He is represented by CAA, United Agents, and Anonymous Content.