Paul Thomas Anderson has signed on to write the screenplay and possibly direct Warner Bros.' Pinocchio. The project has been in development since 2012, when Robert Downey Jr. signed on to produce and star as Geppetto, the woodcarver who creates the iconic title character. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Robert Downey Jr. and Paul Thomas Anderson are longtime friends and have been trying to find a project to work on for many years now. The actor was initially attached to star in the director's last film, Inherent Vice, but he had to pass due to scheduling conflicts with Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Michael Mitnick (The Giver) wrote the most recent draft of the screenplay, which Robert Downey Jr. has been been quietly working on for the past six months. Bryan Fuller and Jane Goldman wrote previous versions of the script, with Tim Burton attached to direct at one point. 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. It should be noted that Disney is also developing their own Pinocchio live action movie.
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. Paul Thomas Anderson was recently nominated for an Best Adapted Screenplay Adaptation for his work on Inherent Vice.