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Disney+'s Pinocchio: 5 Quick Things We Know About The Live-Action Movie

Tom Hanks in Pinocchio
(Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

Disney has been making live-action movie remakes of their beloved animated classics for many years now, recreating films like Mulan, Cinderella, and even The Lion King. While there are plenty of upcoming live-action movies in the works, such as the new The Little Mermaid or the latest Hercules adaptation, today we’re talking about Pinocchio, the legendary puppet who just wanted to be a real boy. 

Back in 2015, according to Deadline, it was announced that a live-action version of Pinocchio was in the works, and while there are plenty of awesome upcoming Disney movies, this one has me super excited. We have everything you need to know about the upcoming adaptation coming to Disney+, from when it's expected to release to its cast, with Tom Hanks. Here are five quick things we know about Pinocchio. 

Tom Hanks as Gepetto in Pinocchio.

(Image credit: Disney+)

Pinocchio Will Premiere In September 2022 On Disney+ 

After years of updates on Disney's live-action Pinocchio movie, the film is finally on the horizon. Thankfully as of this writing, you’ll have to wait a couple of months, as Pinocchio is set to release on September 8th, 2022. 

The news was dropped when the latest teaser trailer arrived, and now, it’s only a matter of time before we get to see this movie. While it would be nice to see this film on the big screen in a movie theater, it will only be released on the streaming platform, Disney+, as an original movie. Is anyone else excited or is it just me? 

One of the characters of Pinocchio.

(Image credit: Disney+)

Pinocchio Will Feature A Large Ensemble Cast That Includes Tom Hanks, Cynthia Erivo, And More  

One of the biggest announcements from the original introduction of Pinocchio into the live-action world was that the talented Tom Hanks would be taking on the role of Geppetto, the man who builds and raises Pinocchio in the original story. However, there have been many other stars that have signed on for the project since its announcement. 

The Pinocchio cast features several excellent actors. Benjamin Evan Ainsworth will be playing Pinocchio. Cynthia Erivo will play the Blue Fairy that brings Pinocchio to life. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who’s had amazing roles in movies like The Trial of the Chicago 7, Inception, and more, will play Jiminy Cricket. Keegan-Michael Key, who’s been in plenty of awesome movies and TV shows, like Key and Peele, has signed on as Honest John. Luke Evans, who  played Gaston in 2017’s Beauty and the Beast, is playing The Coachman.

Additionally, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, known for his part in The Haunting of Bly Manor, will be providing the voice for Pinocchio in the film. Lorraine Braco is also set to star in the film, playing a new original character called Sofia the Seagull. 

The Seagull in Pinocchio.

(Image credit: Disney+)

Pinocchio Will Be Directed By Academy Award-Winner Robert Zemeckis 

If you were worried about who might be directing something like this, worry no longer, as Pinocchio has been taken over by Academy Award-winner, Robert Zemeckis. 

Robert Zemeckis has directed several big-time movies that have done exceptionally well, both critically and financially. He directed the Best Picture winner, Forrest Gump, back in 1994. He also directed the Back to the Future movies, as well as several animated movies such as the Christmas classic, The Polar Express and the Halloween movie, Monster House, among many other amazing flicks. 

Zemeckis has also worked with Tom Hanks before in the critically acclaimed film, Cast Away, alongside Forrest Gump, so it’s exciting to see these two reunite again and hopefully create something just as great as the original film.

Cynthia Erivo as the fairy in Pinocchio.

(Image credit: Disney+)

Chris Weitz, Who Wrote 2015’s Cinderella, Will Co-Write The Script With Zemeckis 

We have an award-winning director. Now all we need is a great writer. No need to worry on that front, as Pinocchio already has you covered. Zemeckis will also be writing the script, but not alone - he will be co-writing the new script for Pinocchio with Chris Weitz, according to Collider. 

Weitz has worked on several screenplays during his career, including About A Boy, The Golden Compass, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and The Mountain Between Us, but what should really make you happy is that he was the man who wrote the screenplay for the 2015 live-action version of Cinderella, starring Lily James. 

In this recent wave of live-action remakes, Cinderella was one of the first live-action Disney movies that ended up becoming a huge hit not only with the critics but as the box office as well, so it’s awesome to hear that the man behind the story of the new version is back at work at Disney, working on a hopefully great story that is sure to impress.

One of the main characters of Pinocchio.

(Image credit: Disney+)

Luke Evans Teases That Things Are Going To Look Different In The Live-Action Pinocchio

Luke Evans, who is set to play the villain The Coachman in Pinocchio, recently spoke during the D23 Inside Disney Podcast about his upcoming role, and how Pinocchio as a whole is going to look very different in a good way, including his character. 

Thankfully, he looks nothing like the character in the animation. In the mind of Bob [Rob] Zemeckis, you can imagine, the things are not going to be the same as they were in the animation. They’re very good. The storyline is very, very similar. But there were certain characters that Bob was able to, you know, dramatically enhance and the Coachman is one of those.

Evans went on to further talk about how he was able to fully utilize his skills as a dramatic theater actor for the role of the Coachman, and how Robert Zemeckis really gave him a chance to make this Disney villain even more terrifying than he was before in the original adaptation of Pinocchio. 

Luke Evans did a fantastic job as Gaston as part of the live-action Beauty and the Beast cast, so well that they were planning on making a sole Gaston and Lefou live-action spinoff before it was ultimately shelved by Disney+. Regardless, I’m eager to see what he’ll bring to the table in terms of villainy this time with the Coachman. 

Tom Hanks in Pinocchio.

(Image credit: Disney+)

Check Out The Teaser Trailer For Pinocchio

If you haven’t seen the teaser trailer yet for the 2022 version of Pinocchio, be sure to check it out below!

With all this fun news about the live-action Pinocchio, it makes me really want to go back and see Disney's animated version. Did you know that Pinocchio was actually only the second feature-length Disney movie ever after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? It was released back in 1940, further cementing Disney with hits like "When You Wish Upon A Star" And "I've Got No Strings," becoming an instant classic. 

If you've been thinking of watching the original movie, it's currently streaming on Disney's streaming platform, Disney+. Or, if you don't have access to Disney+, you can always rent it on Amazon. 

Stream the animated Pinocchio on Disney+.  (opens in new tab)

Rent Pinocchio on Amazon.  (opens in new tab)

With all these amazing upcoming Disney movies, it’s almost hard to keep track of which stars are starring in which and who is directing what, but just know that when Pinocchio comes out, it’ll be some film that I know all of us will be excited for. I know I will. 

Alexandra Ramos
Content Producer

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!