The Pinocchio reboot has found its Blue Fairy in Harriet star Cynthia Erivo. TheWrap reported on Wednesday that Erivo had landed the role along with a few other casting announcements. Those joining Erivo for the project include Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the voice of Jiminy Cricket, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as the voice of Pinocchio, Keegan-Michael Key as the voice of Honest John, and Lorraine Bracco as the voice of new character Sofia the Seagull.
Other names have previously been announced as a part of the new Pinocchio reboot cast. Tom Hanks will play the live-action Geppetto while Beauty and the Beast remake star Luke Evans has been cast as the Coachman. Oakes Fegley has also reportedly been in talks to play Lampwick.
In the original Disney movie, the Blue Fairy is who brings the wooden puppet that is Pinocchio to life, telling him he'll be able to become a real boy if he proves himself to be "brave, truthful, and unselfish." She then assigns Jiminy Cricket to essentially serve as Pinocchio's conscience. The Blue Fairy then appears throughout the story to check on Pinocchio's progress, ultimately deciding that the puppet has proven his worth.
The movie is described as a hybrid of live-action and visual effects. Using a screenplay co-written with Chris Weitz, Robert Zemeckis is directing. Andrew Miano and Weitz will produce under their Depth of Field production banner alongside Zemeckis' Imagemovers. Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard will provide new musical numbers but the movie will also include the original's classic songs.
A highly-accomplished performer, Erivo might be best known for playing abolitionist Harriet Tubman in the acclaimed biopic Harriet. The role earned her Academy Award nominations for Best Actress and Best Original Song. Her other accolades include winning the Best Actress Tony Award and a Grammy for her role in the Broadway rendition of The Color Purple. Erivo also starred in the miniseries The Outside. She will next play Aretha Franklin in the new season of Genius and has a role in the movie Chaos Walking, both of which are releasing this month.
Pinocchio is one of many remakes of classic animated movies that's in the works at the House of Mouse. Also on the way are modern takes of Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, Lilo & Stitch, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. New sequels to previously-released remakes like The Lion King and Aladdin are also happening. In past years, several other titles have already been given the reboot treatment, including Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Lady and the Tramp, Mulan, and Dumbo.
The original Pinocchio movie has long been considered a classic one of Disney's most well-known stories. It was the first animated movie to win a competitive Academy Award, scoring two for Best Music, Original Score and Best Music, Original Song. Universally praised, the movie sits with a perfect 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
A release date hasn't yet been set for Pinocchio, but it is expected that the movie will release exclusively on Disney+. Production on the movie will begin next month in the U.K. This news comes to us from TheWrap.