Disney+ has a lot of high-profile movies and TV shows coming down the pipeline in the coming years, including a live-action remake of Pinocchio. With legendary director Robert Zemeckis at the helm and Tom Hanks cast as Gepetto, the project has already recruited some heavy hitters -- and it sounds like another will soon be a part of that. According to a new report, Luke Evans has been cast as The Coachman in the upcoming live-action retelling of the film. Evans is best known among Disney fans for playing Gaston in the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, a role he is also expected to reprise in an upcoming Disney+ prequel series. His filmography also includes The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies, Furious 7, and the upcoming miniseries Nine Perfect Strangers.
In the original animated Pinocchio movie, The Coachman is responsible for luring children to Pleasure Island, with the goal of them being transformed into donkeys and being sold on the Black Market. The character has also appeared in the films Gepetto and Once Upon a Halloween, the Wonderful World of Disney, House of Mouse, and the Disneyland attraction Pinocchio's Daring Journey.
Disney confirmed the live-action Pinocchio was coming to Disney+ in December of last year, as part of the company's expansive Investor Day presentation. Hanks is poised to portray Geppetto. Other cast and crew members tied to the project are unknown.
While the decision to move the live-action Pinocchio to Disney+ was seen as somewhat controversial to some, it definitely could help the project find a large audience. Towards the end of last year, Disney confirmed that the streaming service had surpassed 73.7 million paid subscribers, and the number is only expected to grow more.
“Even with the disruption caused by COVID-19, we’ve been able to effectively manage our businesses while also taking bold, deliberate steps to position our company for greater long-term growth,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in a statement at the time. “The real bright spot has been our direct-to-consumer business, which is key to the future of our company, and on this anniversary of the launch of Disney+ we’re pleased to report that, as of the end of the fourth quarter, the service had more than 73 million paid subscribers – far surpassing our expectations in just its first year.”
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