Sam Mendes Departs Disney's Live-Action 'Pinocchio'

Despite Disney's domination of the film world with its Marvel, Star Wars and live-action adaptations of its classic films, the studio has hit a snag with filmmaker Sam Mendes departing the planned Pinocchio adaptation.

It's unclear at this time why Mendes has departed the project, but some reports have linked the departure from the project with the progress on the next Bond film. Sources told The Tracking Board that there wasn't a direct link between Mendes' exit and a hunt for a new Bond director, yet the advancement of that project being timed with this departure has raised a few eyebrows.

Pinocchio marks the second time Mendes has departed a live-action update of a Disney project by the filmmaker, having previously exited an adaptation of James and the Giant Peach. Given the presumed disappointment of the studio to lose the auteur, we won't be holding our breath about learning of a new collaboration between Mendes and Disney.

While news of the departure may be disappointing to fans, there are still plenty of live-action adaptations on the way, with Tim Burton's Dumbo, Guy Ritchie's Aladdin and Marc Forster's Christopher Robin all seemingly on schedule for their respective releases. One of the most anticipated adaptations is Jon Favreau's The Lion King, which recently revealed its full lineup of voice talent.

While many of the names were confirmed to participate, the reveal also included new information as well. One of the biggest reveals is that Beyonce will voice Nala, Simba's love interest, after months of speculation about her attachment to the project.

In addition to Donald Glover starring as Simba, previously confirmed roles included Seth Rogen as Pumba, Billy Eichner as Timon, John Oliver as Zazu, John Kani as Rafiki and James Earl Jones returning to the role of Mufasa. Jones is currently the only announced cast member reprising the role he voiced in the original 1994 film.

Eric Andre as Azizi, Florence Karumba as Shenzi and Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari were also all new reveals.

"It is a director's dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to life," Favreau shared in a statement.

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Stay tuned for updates regarding the live-action adaptation of Pinocchio.

[H/T The Hollywood Reporter]