Pinocchio was all set to be one of Disney's next big live-action remakes, but now it looks like the movie may not happen. While it appeared that the film was moving along at a rapid pace, including the very recent news that Tom Hanks was in talks to play Gepetto, it now seems all of that is in doubt. Seamus McGarvey, who was set to be the film's director of photography recently revealed in an interview that the film's production is currently dead in the water following the departure of the film's latest director. According to McGarvey...
I don't think it's a secret anymore, but the film has been cancelled over the holidays, over Christmas. The director basically pulled out of the film, for um, family reasons. Disney are trying to find a new director, but yeah, I read those reports that Tom Hanks amd Tom Waits and all those other people, but yeah, they're trying to get it going.
For the record, McGarvey appears to be getting his Pinocchios confused. Tom Waits is reportedly attached to the Guillermo del Toro version of the story being made for Netflix, not the Disney version.
While Seamus McGarvey doesn't go into any detail, he has revealed that Paddington director Paul King, who was supposed to direct the live-action Pinocchio adaptation, has apparently had to step away for personal reasons. As a result, production on the film is now dead while Disney looks for a replacement.
It sounds like Pinocchio might have been looking to begin filming very soon, as Seamus McGarvey's comment that the film is "canceled" appears to be regarding his job actually getting underway. Later in the interview with Discussing Film, he says the movie might start shooting this summer "if it does at all," which implies there was a plan to shoot earlier than that which has now been scrapped.
Seamus McGarvey, the Oscar-nominated cinematographer, is assuming that, if and when the film does get back on track he won't be part of it. Paul King was the one who wanted him, and a new director may very well have a new director of photography they want to bring on board.
Of course, this change in schedule has the potential to change a lot more than the DOP. It's equally possible that Tom Hanks' schedule might be impacted by this and that he might not be able to play Geppetto when the film is ready to shoot either.
Paul King is the second director who was on board to make Pinocchio. He followed Sam Mendes who left the project a couple of years ago.
Hopefully, everything is ok with Paul King and his family. The director of the two Paddington films seemed like the perfect choice to helm a project like Disney's Pinocchio. The studio will likely be hard pressed to find a replacement who fits quite so well.
While Pinocchio has been significantly stalled, the project clearly isn't quite dead yet. Stat tuned to CinemaBlend as this story develops and we see whether this Pinocchio ever gets turned into a real movie.