After he wraps up work on The Witches, Robert Zemeckis has found his next gig. In a new report from Variety, the Back to the Future helmer has been revealed to be in talks to direct Disney's Pinocchio remake, the latest in a growing list of live-action reimaginings from the House of Mouse. The report suggests while a deal has yet to close, Zemeckis has been interested in the project since this summer, but wanted to make sure work on The Witches was further along before boarding his next project. The Witches has since entered post-production.
Since the project was first announced by Disney, the studio has been rotating directors ahead of development. The long-gestating project has hired both Sam Mendes (American Beauty) and Paul King (Paddington) before the two left to pursue other projects. There was once a point the studio had been circling Tom Hanks to play the role of Geppetto, though he eventually passed on the role. There's no word if Disney will try approaching Hanks again with the addition of Zemeckis.
King teamed up with Chris Weitz and Simon Farnaby to write the most recent version of the script. Weitz is producing the film with Simon Farnaby. Last year, Weitz had revealed the production initially planned to start production sometime in 2019 though that's since been pushed back considerably.
"It's going to shoot in England and Italy starting next year," Weitz said. "We're still in the early stages of, you know, development and developing the script, so there's no casting to talk about, but I'm very excited about it."
Other live-action remakes from Disney currently in the works include Lady and the Tramp (out November 12th), Mulan, Cruella, The Litte Mermaid, The Jungle Book 2, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Godmothered, Peter Pan, The Sword in the Stone, Hunchback, Lilo & Stitch, and Rose Red.
The remakes have been pretty big hits for the studio, with four of them (The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Alice in Wonderland) having grossed over $1b worldwide. In total, the 13 currently-released "live-action" reimaginings from Disney have tallied a total of $9.05b in box office receipts worldwide.
Pinocchio has yet to receive a release date from Disney.
Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage