Tom Hanks is reportedly in early talks to play Geppetto in Disney's upcoming live-action Pinocchio movie. Hanks' name was first brought up back in 2018, though that was when Paddington director Paul King was attached to helm the project. News about the project has been pretty quiet since then, except for the fact that Robert Zemeckis is now on board to direct. Zemeckis was announced as director earlier this year, but we hadn't heard any updates about Hanks' involvement until now.
According to sources, Tom Hanks was very impressed with the live-action Pinocchio script and he reportedly reached out to Robert Zemeckis to express his interest. It is believed that Disney has wanted Hanks to play Geppetto ever since the live-action idea came about, and now that they have Zemeckis on board, Hanks is interested once again. The actor and director have a long relationship which dates back to Forrest Gump, where they both won Academy Awards. This news has yet to be officially confirmed by Hanks or anyone at Disney.
Robert Zemeckis is directing the live-action Pinocchio movie with Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz producing through their company Depth of Field, with Weitz and Zemeckis penning the script. Disney has had great success with most of their live-action remakes lately. The Lion King and Aladdin were huge for the studio last year, even though they both had some backlash before they hit theaters. Tim Burton's take on Dumbo didn't really take flight like they had hoped, but there are more remakes on the way, including The Little Mermaid. With Zemeckis and Tom Hanks attached, Pinocchio has a great chance of becoming a box office monster.
Disney's original animated Pinocchio movie was released in 1940 and 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." From there, the puppet goes on a wild adventure and learns a lot about the real-world in the process. The movie is often considered to be one of the best animated movies of all time, along with being one of Disney's best features.
Tom Hanks just finished his press tour for the war thriller Greyhound, which skipped a traditional theater release for an Apple TV+ premiere. Movie theaters are still closed and Hanks was very open about his disappointment about having to skip theaters, noting that nothing really beats seeing a movie on the big screen. The movie was a hit with critics and Apple+ has been happy with its streaming numbers. As for Pinocchio, or any movie for that matter, it is unclear when production will be able to begin, though early next year could be when everything starts going again. Deadline was the first to report on the live-action Pinocchio news with Tom Hanks.