For the last few years, Disney has been in the business of bringing their cherished animated classics to life in live action, and Pinocchio is next on the list. Currently, only Tom Hanks has been touted for a role, with the beloved actor said to be in negotiations to play the kindly woodcarver Geppetto, but now, the likes of Boardwalk Empire's Stephen Graham and X2: X-Men United star Alan Cumming have been thrown into the mix for other familiar roles.

It is being reported that Stephen Graham is being eyed for the role of the Coachman, who is being described as "a sinister, shadowy figure who is notorious for luring little boys to Pleasure Island where they are transformed into donkeys." Alan Cumming meanwhile is apparently connected to the role of Honest John, "a literal and metaphorical fox. A sly con-man. He encourages Pinocchio to stop going to school and sells him to the circus."

RELATED: Disney's Cruella, Pinocchio & Peter Pan Remakes May Go Straight to Disney+

According to the report, the role of the Coachman will be a live-action role whereas Honest John, a character that is depicted as a top-hat wearing fox in the animated movie, will be a voiceover role for an animated character, with Disney no doubt utilizing the same photo-realistic CGI seen in last year's The Lion King. Both actors would be perfectly suited to these respective roles, and very welcome additions to the Disney remake alongside Hanks.

The live action take on Pinocchio is set to be directed by Robert Zemeckis, who is best known for such silver screen classics as Back to the Future and Forrest Gump. Zemeckis will be working alongside Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz who are producing through their company Depth of Field, with Weitz and Zemeckis penning the script.

Released back in 1940, Disney's original animated Pinocchio tells the story of Geppetto, a lonely woodcarver who shapes a wooden puppet named Pinocchio. The puppet is later brought to life by a blue fairy, who informs him that he can become a real boy if he proves himself to be "brave, truthful, and unselfish." Pinocchio embarks on an adventure that he is not prepared for, experiencing the dark side of the world, all the while assisted by Jimmy Cricket, his assigned conscience.

Disney has seen massive success with this live action remake strategy. Both The Lion King and Aladdin were huge financial hits for the studio last year, with both movies bringing in over a billion dollars at the global box office. Disney's live-action Pinocchio joins the likes of Peter Pan & Wendy, The Little Mermaid, Hercules, Robin Hood and countless others on the studio's list of planned live-action remakes.

It is unclear when Pinocchio will being filming, and the movie does not yet have a release date. The animated original remains one of Disney's most cherished movies, as well as one of the studios best, and has since been adapted many, many times. In fact, the live action remake is not the only adaptation on the horizon, with Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro currently working on a stop-motion animated musical version of Pinocchio for Netflix. Del Toro's Pinocchio is expected to debut on Netflix sometime in 2021. This comes to us courtesy of The Illuminerdi.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge