Disney’s Live Action Pinocchio Movie Is Eyeing Tom Hanks For A Key Role

Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks

We're reuniting with Pinocchio in a cinematic setting soon, and I'm not just referring to Guillermo del Toro's long-awaited project about the sentient puppet finally moving forward at Netflix. Like many of its classic animated movies, Disney is giving Pinocchio the live action remake/re-imagining treatment, and word has come in that Hollywood heavyweight Tom Hanks is being looked at to play Geppetto, Pinocchio's "father."

This casting information comes courtesy of Collider, though it remains to be seen if Tom Hanks' "early talks" with Disney will evolve into something more substantial or if the studio will look elsewhere for someone to play Geppetto in live action, Assuming he is cast in Pinocchio, this won't be Hanks' first Disney rodeo. Along with voicing Woody in the Toy Story movies, he also played the man who started it all, Walt Disney, in 2013's Saving Mr. Banks. Hanks was also in talks to appear in the upcoming live action adaptation of Dumbo, but those fell through grand the role ultimately went to Michael Keaton.

Geppetto in Pinocchio

Just like the original Italian fairy tale novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, Disney's animated Pinocchio movie, which was released in 1940, depicted Geppetto as a woodworker who fashions Pinocchio together. In this version of the tale though, Geppetto wishes on a star that Pinocchio was a real boy, hence why the Blue Fairy brought the puppet to life, albeit still in his wooden form. Later on in the movie, after Pinocchio traveled to Pleasure Island, Geppetto traveled to rescue him, only to be swallowed by the giant whale, Monster. Pinocchio went to save his father, and although the puppet died during the escape, the Blue Fairy decided that he'd proven himself worthy and brought him back to life as a human, giving Geppetto the son he'd always wanted.

No specific details have been revealed yet on how Disney's live action Pinocchio movie will compare to its animated predecessor, like if it will be a relatively straightforward remake or if it will take a lot of creative liberties. Paddington 2's Paul King is currently attached to direct and was brought in after Skyfall's Sam Mendes exited the project. Simon Barnaby is reportedly writing the latest draft of Pinocchio, and Chris Weitz and Andrew Milano are attached as producers.

As for Tom Hanks, even if he doesn't end up signing on to Pinocchio, he has more than enough to keep him busy in the near future. In 2019, not only is he reprising Woody in Toy Story 4, he's also playing Commander Ernest Krause in Greyhound and Fred Rogers in the movie initially titled You Are My Friend.

Pinocchio doesn't have a set release date yet, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for that information, whether or not Tom Hanks will be involved and other updates about the movie's progress. For now, check out our guide about all the other live action Disney adaptations in development.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.