Hollywood has never been the sort of place where success is carefully replicated in a thought out and meticulous manner in order to not saturate the market. Instead, if something works even just a little bit, it is immediately imitated ad nauseum - which is why it's not surprising that Disney has given the go-ahead for a live action version of Pinocchio to be developed.
According to Deadline, Disney has given writer Peter Hedges the chance to bring the original Pinocchio story back to the big-screen. This comes off the monumental success of Cinderella at the box office just last month, which was preceded by the triumphs of Maleficent and Alice In Wonderland. Meanwhile, Pinocchio is the latest in a long-line of animated classic Disney films to have been put into development for the live action treatment, as the studio is also developing The Jungle Book, Beauty And The Beast, Dumbo, and Mulan .
Originally written by Carlo Collodi back in 1883, the novel The Adventures Of Pinocchio tells the story of a marionette named Pinocchio, who is carved from a piece of wood by a poor woodcarver named Geppetto. Pinocchio dreams of turning into a real boy, but alongside the ghost of a talking cricket (which in the novel he accidentally killed), he finds himself caught up in all kinds of commotion that involves a variety of different animals across the Tuscan region of Italy. Oh yeah, it should also be noted that Pinocchio’s nose extends every time he tells a lie - which is rather unfortunate, because he’s quite a prolific liar.
Disney originally decided that this would be perfect fodder for an animated film quite a while ago, and once it was released in 1940 it was labelled an instant classic. The simple morality tale clicked with audiences during a time of great peril for the entire world, and it would ultimately become the first animated feature film to pick up a competitive Academy Award. In fact, it won two prizes, picking up Best Original Score, and Best Original Song for When You Wish Upon A Star.
The animated movie was also a resolute hit at the box-office, ultimately grossing $84.2 million (which was a huge hunk of change back in 1940). It even still holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. What I’m trying to say is, the live-action remake has a lot to live up to.
Not only is Pinocchio one of the most endearing, heart-warming and popular movies of Disney's canon, but this year also marks the 75th anniversary of its original release. Of course, it’s not the only reimagining of Pinocchio that’s currently in the works in Tinseltown. Guillermo del Toro is developing a darker version of the tale with his own company, which he plans to co-direct. However, the fact it’s a stop-motion animated 3D film means that there should be enough difference between the two projects for them both to proceed and prosper.