Disney's Pinocchio live-action remake is finally happening as director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future) has closed a deal to direct the movie. This has been a long-gestating project, and one that has seen several filmmakers come and go over the years, including Paddington and Paddington 2 filmmaker Paul King. Now, it's in Zemeckis' hands and it looks like things will be getting serious in a hurry.

According to a new report, Robert Zemeckis has locked down a deal to co-write and direct the Pinocchio remake. As we previously reported last October, Zemeckis had been in discussions with the studio for the gig, but nothing materialized until now. It's said that Zemeckis will write a new draft of the screenplay alongside Chris Weitz (About a Boy, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). The expectation is that production could begin before year's end. Should that hold, we are likely to hear of possible casting decisions and maybe even some story details in the coming months. It had previously been reported that Tom Hanks was being eyed to possibly play Geppetto at one point, but there has been no updates on that front in some time.

Robert Zemeckis has had an impressive career and is best known for his work on the Back to the Future trilogy. Some of his other classic works include Forrest Gump, Cast Away and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? In recent years, however, he's hit something of a slump, with movies like, The Walk, Allied and Welcome to Marwen majorly underperforming at the box office. Things seem to be looking up though, as Zemeckis is not only on board for what is poised to be a major Disney project, but he's also got his remake of The Witches set to hit theaters later this year.

Pinocchio was originally released by Disney in 1940 and remains one of the studio's most cherished classics. It centers on a man named Geppeto who makes a puppet that is, one fateful night, transformed into a real boy. It proved to be a huge hit at the time, grossing $85 million. That's not a lot by today's standards, but adjusted for inflation, it would be huge. The Walt Disney classic has also made the company quite a bit of money over the years thanks to various re-releases on different home media formats that have evolved from generation to generation.

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Disney has had a tremendous amount of luck with live-action remakes at the box office in recent years. Aladdin went on to gross $1 billion in 2019 and, though technically animated, The Lion King remake made a truly impressive $1.65 billion. The studio has other live-action remakes coming down the pipeline as well, including The Little Mermaid and a 101 Dalmatians prequel, Cruella, as well as this year's Mulan, which hits theaters in March. Pinocchio does not yet have a release date set, but we'll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. This news comes to us via Deadline.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott