According to The Hollywood Reporter, acclaimed writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, The Master) has signed on to write and possibly direct Robert Downey Jr. as Geppetto in a re-imagined take on Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio.
The long-gestating adaptation was originally eyed as a directing vehicle for both Tropic Thunder‘s Ben Stiller as well as Tim Burton, who has since turned his attentions to a live-action Dumbo and other projects. Michael Mitnick (The Giver), Bryan Fuller (“Hannibal”) and Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service) have all worked on previous drafts.
Anderson has had prior history with Downey Jr. after the actor nearly starred in last year’s Inherent Vice before Avengers: Age of Ultron interfered, or they came to the mutual decision that he was too old for the part, depending on who you ask. Joaquin Phoenix eventually inherited the role of stoner detective Larry “Doc” Sportello in the film.
Downey Jr., Susan Downey as well as Dan Jinks (Milk) will produce Pinocchio through their Team Downey shingle for Warner Bros.
The classic 1883 story of a woodworker who carves a puppet that is magically brought to life and wishes to become a real boy has had many onscreen iterations. These include the beloved 1940 Disney animated classic, a 1996 live-action version The Adventures of Pinocchio starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Martin Landau, as well as 2002’s Pinocchio starring Oscar-winner Roberto Benigni which had a disastrous reception in America but was more well-recieved in his native Italy.
(Photo Credit: WENN)