Disney has finally cottoned on to the greatness of Paddington director, Paul King by signing him up to lead the charge in their live-action reboot of Pinocchio.

King replaces Bond director Sam Mendes who was originally attached to take the helm on the project but left the fold last year. Peter Hedges and Chris Weitz had previously worked on the script, however, Wonder scribe, Jack Thorne has been drafted in to perform a rewrite.

Pinocchio first made an appearance in the children’s book The Adventures of Pinocchio in 1883 by Italian writer Carlo Collodi. Carved by a woodcarver named Geppetto in a village near Lucca, he was created as a wooden puppet but dreamed of becoming a real boy. He lies often. He has gone on to become a cultural icon. As one of the most reimagined characters in children’s literature, his story has been adapted into other media, notably the 1940 Disney film Pinocchio which was was the second animated feature film produced by Disney, made after the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.

In the mid-2000s, DisneyToon Studios began development on a sequel to Pinocchio. Robert Reece co-wrote the film’s screenplay, which saw Pinocchio on a “strange journey” for the sake of something dear to him. “It’s a story that leads Pinocchio to question why life appears unfair sometimes,” said Reece. John Lasseter cancelled Pinocchio II soon after being named Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2006.

After the major successes of Paddington and it’s sequel, King has a much sort after talent. The English director was also signed up by Warner Bros for their reboot of the 1971 classic Willy Wonka