Tom Hanks is reportedly eyeing the role of Geppetto in Disney's planned live-action Pinocchio remake. The news was reported by Deadline's Justin Kroll and later The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit. Hanks actually agreed to the role two years ago, when Paul King — who helmed the Paddington films — was signed on to direct. King later dropped out, putting Hanks' interest "in brief limbo," as Kit says.
Then, it was announced that Robert Zemeckis was brought on to make Pinocchio, and Hanks was fully back on board as well. Notably, Hanks and Zemeckis have been working together for many years, with the actor starring in a number of films by the director, including Forrest Gump, Cast Away and The Polar Express. The project has been many years in the "developing" stage, but Hanks is said to be in serious talks to make the deal, which is good news for fans of the star, as well as fans Disney's live-action remakes. At this time, there do not appear to be any official statements from Disney or Hanks' reps.
Then King dropped out and Hanks was like, eh, I'm not sure anymore. The project was in brief limbo then it got Zemeckis on board. The hope and plan was always that Zemeckis' involvement would solidify Hanks. https://t.co/3KI4kjKdUd— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) August 5, 2020
The story of Pinocchio dates back to 1883, with the book The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883) by Italian writer Carlo Collodi. The young puppet-turned-real-life-boy eventually made his cinematic appearance in 1911, in an Italian live-action silent film, directed by Giulio Antamoro. Later, in 1940, the most notable depiction of Pinocchio emerged in the form of Disney's beloved animated film. Over the next few decades, several Pinocchio adaptations would be produced, including one starring Mickey Rooney, and a number of animated films and TV series.
In 1996, Jonathan Taylor Thomas portrayed the character in The Adventures of Pinocchio, working alongside actors Martin Landau and Rob Schneider. A sequel titled The New Adventures of Pinocchio was released in 1999. Also in 1996, a horror film based on the story was released, titled Pinocchio's Revenge. It starred a pre-Austin Powers Verne Troyer as a Chucky-like version of Pinocchio. In 2002, actor Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful) portrayed the marionette in the Italian movie Pinocchio. Finally, aside from Disney's forthcoming live-action remake, Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson are co-directing a Pinocchio film for Netflix that is described as a "stop-motion animated musical dark fantasy." The movie will be released in 2021 and features the voices of Ewan McGregor, Ron Perlman, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz and David Bradley.