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Disney’s Live-Action Pinocchio May Have Found Its Director


After the success of Beauty and the Beast, Disney appears to be kicking all their other live-action adaptations into high gear. Now, the studio's Pinocchio remake may have found its director. Disney has been making some interesting directorial choices when it comes to their live-action remakes and it appears that Pinocchio will continue this trend, as Disney is reportedly in talks with the director of the last two James Bond movies, Sam Mendes.

The list of films Sam Mendes has directed is small but it is distinguished. In addition to directing Daniel Craig in both Spectre and Skyfall, he also handled Jarhead, and Road to Perdition. He made his directorial debut in 1999 with American Beauty, a film for which he won the Best Director Academy Award. According to Deadline, Mendes is still in the "talks" phase of negotiation, so this is far from a done deal, but unless Mendes is looking to return alongside Daniel Craig for one more James Bond movie he'll have the time, and previously Mendes has made it clear he won't be back.

If Sam Mendes does sign on to Pinocchio he'll join a cadre of past and future directors of live-action Disney films that have included some of the best in the business. Jon Favreau directed The Jungle Book and is now working on The Lion King. Kenneth Branagh directed Cinderella. Tim Burton is currently working on Dumbo and Guy Ritchie's next project is Aladdin. Mendes would be yet another high profile name to add to the Disney stable.

Disney has a host of live-action adaptations in the works, and just as many release dates set aside for those films. However, only Mulan, set for November of next year, has been officially given one of those dates. We know that several of the films are in some form of active development, both Dumbo and Aladdin have had casting rumors attached to them and Christopher Robin, the Winnie the Pooh live-action film, is currently undergoing another draft to the script and may have found its lead. Pinocchio also has a script, written by Chris Weitz, who also wrote Disney's Cinderella remake, and if they do sign a director we can expect this one to start moving forward in a significant way.

While all of Disney's live-action remakes have been successful films, they've done so in a number of different ways so it's difficult to guess what Disney's live-action Pinocchio might look like. Will it be a full Disney musical with a full rendition of "I've Got No Strings?" It's possible, though at this point it's just as likely to be a disturbing horror movie who runs away from home and finds himself entering a living nightmare with kids being transformed into donkeys and sea life eating people alive.

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.