Back in July, we reported that filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson has signed on to write the screenplay for Warner Bros.' live action adaptation of Robert Downey Jr.'s Pinocchio, and there was a possibility that he may direct as well. We haven't heard anything further regarding the project since then, but now a new report claims that the studio will have to continue its search for a director. The Wrap's Jeff Sneider revealed yesterday that he heard Paul Thomas Anderson is no longer directing Pinocchio.
It isn't known if this means the filmmaker has stepped aside from writing the screenplay as well, or if he had even started work on the script yet. The original report revealed that Robert Downey Jr. and Paul Thomas Anderson have been friends for a long time, and they had been searching for a project that they could both collaborate on. Robert Downey Jr. was initially set to star in Paul Thomas Anderson's last film, Inherent Vice, but he was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Before Paul Thomas Anderson came aboard, the screenplay was previously worked on by Michael Mitnick (The Giver), Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service). The project has been in development since 2012, with Tim Burton attached to direct at one point. Ben Stiller entering talks to direct in 2013, but a deal never materialized. It isn't known if the studio has a list of potential replacements to take the helm, now that Paul Thomas Anderson is moving on.
The project got a new lease on life thanks to the success of several Disney live action movies that reimagined children's movie classics, such as Disney's Maleficent and Alice in Wonderland. Disney is also developing their own Pinocchio live action movie, and The Jim Henson Company also has Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio in the works, a 3D stop motion animated version of the classic tale. Very little is known about the other projects that are in the works, and it isn't clear which will move forward first.
Robert Downey Jr. will produce with his wife and Team Downey partner Susan Downey, alongside Dan Jinks. No details were given about this adaptation, based on Carlo Collodi's classic novel about a wooden puppet who desperately wants to become a human boy. There have been a number of different movie adaptations over the years, including the 1940 animated classic Pinocchio, Roberto Benigni's 2002 live-action adaptation and countless others. Who do you think should direct Pinocchio, now that Paul Thomas Anderson has moved on?
Hearing Paul Thomas Anderson won't direct PINOCCHIO & Alfonso Cuaron passed on DOCTOR SLEEP after being rumored to direct earlier this year.— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) November 12, 2015