Disney+’s Pinocchio film adds Luke Evans as The Coachman
After already helping bring the iconic Disney villain Gaston to life in the House of Mouse’s live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, Luke Evans is ready for another chilling antagonist as he’s joining Tom Hanks in the Robert Zemeckis-helmed Pinocchio as Pleasure Island owner and operator The Coachman, according to Deadline.
Hanks had previously been in talks for the role of Geppetto two years prior when Paddington helmer Paul King was attached to co-write and direct the film, but once King left the deal with Hanks was abandoned. Sources previously report that the new deal with the Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood star are in very early negotiations but that after having read the script co-written by Zemeckis and Chris Weitz (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), he reached out to the director to express his interest in starring in the project.
Zemeckis and Hanks’ collaborative partnership goes back to the latter’s second-consecutive Oscar-winning turn in Forrest Gump and would later reunite on Cast Away, which netted Hanks another Oscar nom and a Golden Globe win, followed by the Christmas cult classic The Polar Express. The project is set to be produced by Weitz and Andrew Miano via their Depth of Field production banner.
Pinocchio will center on the wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a “real boy,” and the relationship between a father and son, the ramifications of lying and creating stories and living in a fantasy world.
The original Pinocchio, based on the 1883 novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, first debuted in theaters in 1940 and won two Academy Awards. In the 1940 Disney-animated film Pinocchio, the lead role was voiced by Dickie Jones, Jiminy Cricket by Cliff Edwards, and Master Geppetto by Christian Rubb.
Zemeckis is currently in post-production on his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches for Warner Bros. starring Anne Hathaway, which was recently delayed from its October 2020 release to a currently undated 2021 debut as theaters still grapple with the ongoing global pandemic.
(Photo Credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)