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Sam Mendes in Early Talks to Direct ‘Pinocchio’ Live-Action Reboot

Variety logo Variety 5/23/2017 Justin Kroll
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Sam Mendes is in early talks to direct Disney’s live-action adaptation of “Pinocchio.”

Sources close to Mendes say that the director has not fully committed to helming the film yet. Mendes has not been able to meet with studio execs yet due to his commitment to his West End play “The Ferryman,” which is currently in production.

Peter Hedges penned the script, and Chris Weitz and Andrew Miano from Depth of Field are producing.

Mendes will no longer direct the “James and the Giant Peach” remake for Disney, which he was attached to less than a year ago.

The original, 1940 animated film “Pinocchio” was based on Carlo Collodi’s 1883 children’s book, “The Adventures of Pinocchio,” about a puppet and a poor woodcarver. “Pinocchio” was the second animated feature film produced by Disney, following 1937’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” but was not a box office success.

Disney’s live-action reboots — including “Beauty and the Beast,” “Cinderella,” “Maleficent,” and “Alice in Wonderland” — have become some of the studio’s most successful properties to date, and Disney is in active development on a handful of other retellings. Jon Favreau is currently casting a “Lion King” film with Donald Glover voicing Simba, and Niki Caro was recently tapped to direct “Mulan.”

Despite the success of his James Bond pics “Skyfall” and “Spectre,” Mendes recently announced that he was leaving the franchise and has been boarding several projects. He will helm Sony’s adaptation of “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters,” based on Emil Ferris’ graphic novel.

Mendes is repped by CAA. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

Disney’s Live-Action Films in the Works

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