Attempting to breathe new, live-action life into the story of Pinocchio, Disney has had a slower, tougher road to walk than the likes of, say, The Lion King. Directors have come and gone and Tom Hanks was briefly attached to play Geppetto. Now it appears Robert Zemeckis is closing in on the directing job.
Zemeckis, of course, knows a little something about effects-driven films and blending fantasy with reality, even if his last effort to do both at the box office (and one that featured living dolls), Welcome to Marwen didn't fare so well. Pinocchio would find him back in big event picture territory, having considered the new movie since earlier this summer. He's waited until his further along with his latest film, Roald Dahl adaptation The Witches before looking again at his future To Do list, with the Mouse House aiming to convince him to take on the puppet tale.
The last person to consider the job, Paddington's Paul King, left earlier this year, alongside producer David Heyman. King, Chris Weitz and Simon Farnaby wrote the most recent draft of the tale about the wooden boy who dreams of becoming real and goes on a moral journey, though Zemeckis would likely bring his own people in as he moves into the casting stage.
There's also the small matter of other Pinocchio adaptations in the works, including one with Guillermo del Toro as one of its driving forces. Still, the Disney versions tend to ride roughshod over others, as Andy Serkis and Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle could tell you. As for The Witches, that'll be out a little less than a year from now.