Casting is finally heating up on Disney's live-action remake of Pinocchio as the studio is making a big move toward assembling their cast of characters. A new report reveals that Academy Award winner Tom Hanks is in early talks to take on the role of Geppetto in Robert Zemeckis' new version of the film. According to Deadline, Hanks reportedly read the script and reached out to Zemeckis to tell him that he'd like to take on the part of Pinocchio's father and creator. The studio reportedly wanted Hanks for the part in a previous attempt to reboot Pinocchio so his casting is a long time coming at this point.
Should Hanks sign on for the feature it would mark the fourth collaboration between both he and Zemeckis. The pair previously collaborated on 1994's Forrest Gump, which nabbed Hanks his second Oscar and Zemeckis his first. Afterward they worked together on 2000's Castaway, which earned Hanks yet another nomination, and then on the animated Christmas adventure The Polar Express in 2004.
News of Zemeckis involvement in the film arrived earlier this year when it was confirmed that the Back to the Future filmmaker will direct the feature. Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz are set to produce the film which will mark yet another live-action reboot of a classic animated Disney film. Weitz (Cinderella, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) will co-write the script with Zemeckis. The duo will pen the latest version of the Pinocchio screenplay from a previous draft Weitz wrote with Simon Farnaby.
It's unclear when the film will officially go in front of cameras, but Disney has also not officially confirmed a release date for the project (despite having plenty of available dates). There is a slight possibility of audience confusion though as dueling Pinocchio projects are in the works. A stop-motion animated version of the story is being produced for Netflix by Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro (featuring David Bradley of the Harry Potter franchise in the Geppetto role).
Further casting on the Disney/Zemeckis version hasn't been confirmed just yet but the addition of Hanks no doubt means the ball is rolling towards a fully stocked feature. Pinocchio joins the likes of Peter Pan & Wendy, The Little Mermaid, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and countless others on Disney's list of planned live-action remakes of their animated films.
(Cover photo by P. Lehman/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)