With adaptations of children’s fairy tales re-emerging in recent years, which Burton himself is no stranger to, having directed adaptations of Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, word now comes of a new take on the story of Pinocchio.
THR report, via Collider, that Burton is very interested in directing a live-action remake of the story, first published in Italian by Carlo Collodi back in 1883, and turned into a famous Disney animated film in 1940. And not only that, but the director already has his eye on the lead for Gepetto, and it’s none other than the brilliant Robert Downey, Jr.
“In the version being developed at Warner Bros., Geppetto embarks on a quest to reunite with his missing marionette.”
The script made it onto last year’s Black List, the list of the year’s best unproduced scripts in Hollywood, and has been written by Bryan Fuller, creator of TV’s Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls, and Dead Like Me, and whose writing credits also include a few episodes of Heroes.
Burton is already set to develop Miss Peregrine’s Home For Curious Children, and is thought to be considering directing that adaptation too, so it might become a question of which comes first if he wants to helm both projects.
Downey, Jr., too, of course has an ever-busy schedule. He’s currently in the cinemas with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (by far, one of the best films of 2011, in my opinion – if you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you don’t miss it before it leaves the cinema), and will soon be returning as Tony Stark / Iron Man in The Avengers in April. He’s also got Iron Man 3 to look forward to after that, and if all goes well, The Avengers 2 will be following that in the years to come too.
The actor has also been attached in recent months to the Perry Mason film adaptation, and has picked up The Accidental Genius to produce for Warner Bros., and though he’s only currently set to serve as a producer on the latter, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he leads the cast on that too.
So as you might expect, both Burton and Downey, Jr. are busy men. But I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed that they can find a time common to both their schedules to fit this Pinocchio adaptation in, because the prospect of them working together sounds too good to be true. You can sure we’ll be keeping our ears to the floor for more news on this as it comes.