Robert Zemeckis in talks to direct Pinocchio remake

Robert Zemeckis is in talks to direct Disney’s live-action remake of Pinocchio. Skyfall director Sam Mendes was originally tapped to helm the live-action remake of the 1940 animated classic but he exited the project in 2017 and was replaced by Paddingt…

Robert Zemeckis is in talks to direct Disney’s live-action remake of Pinocchio.

Skyfall director Sam Mendes was originally tapped to helm the live-action remake of the 1940 animated classic but he exited the project in 2017 and was replaced by Paddington’s Paul King, who subsequently stepped down from the role for unknown reasons at the start of this year.

However, according to Variety, Forrest Gump director Zemeckis is now in early talks to direct Pinocchio, which tells the tale of a living puppet who, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.

Zemeckis, who was also behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the Back to the Future films, has reportedly been eyeing the project since the summer but didn’t want to commit until he had made more progress with his movie adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, which stars Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer.

The 67-year-old began to set his sights on his next project when that went into the post-production phase.

According to editors at Variety, the director will now be looking to find an actor to play Geppetto, Pinocchio’s carpenter creator. Zemeckis’s frequent collaborator Tom Hanks had been circling the role but eventually passed.

Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz are producing through their company Depth of Field from a script penned by Weitz. The most recent draft of the screenplay had been written by Weitz, King, and Paddington 2 screenwriter Simon Farnaby. Paddington producer David Heyman is no longer involved with the film.

The live-action movie is not the only Pinocchio project in the works – Guillermo del Toro has teamed up with Netflix bosses to create a stop-motion animation based on Carlo Collodi’s classic tale.

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Tom Hanks feared Forrest Gump wouldn’t ‘make any sense’

Tom Hanks had no idea what was going on while he filmed 1994 classic Forrest Gump.The actor portrayed the titular character, a slow-witted but kind-hearted man who witnesses and unwittingly influences several defining historical events in the 20th cent…

Tom Hanks had no idea what was going on while he filmed 1994 classic Forrest Gump.

The actor portrayed the titular character, a slow-witted but kind-hearted man who witnesses and unwittingly influences several defining historical events in the 20th century in the United States, in the Robert Zemeckis-directed movie.

But while Forrest Gump won six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role, Hanks has now admitted he was shocked by the flick’s success.

“We wondered what we were doing, and we wondered if it was all going to make any sense,” he laughed to an Entertainment Tonight reporter at the Los Angeles premiere of Toy Story 4 on Tuesday. “Any movie that you’re making requires two things. One, a huge leap of faith in the alliance you’ve made with everybody else who’s making the movie, and also trust in the process somehow, and that if you love it and you do your due diligence, and you never let go of the potential that it could be made, it will all work out.

“Fact is, that was a magnificent movie and a surprise either way. I think the reasons that it has lasted, (is) it’s accurate both to who we were back when it first came out and who we are still today.”

Elsewhere at the Toy Story 4 debut, Hanks spoke about voicing cowboy toy Sheriff Woody for the fourth instalment and the similarities between himself and the character.

“I am a team player. I love being part of an ensemble, and I think we are always in this together somehow,” the 62-year-old said to PeopleTV reporters. “Anybody can make it a miserable day by being cranky or self-centred or thinking that it’s all about them instead of all about the whole.”

Toy Story 4, also featuring the voices of Tim Allen, Christina Hendricks and Keanu Reeves, hits cinemas from 20 June.

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David Alan Grier refused to audition for Forrest Gump

Actor David Alan Grier still regrets turning down the role of Tom Hanks’ best friend in Forrest Gump. The star was offered the role of Bubba Blue in the Oscar-winning film, but he turned it down because he didn’t like the fact the character went on an…

Actor David Alan Grier still regrets turning down the role of Tom Hanks’ best friend in Forrest Gump.

The star was offered the role of Bubba Blue in the Oscar-winning film, but he turned it down because he didn’t like the fact the character went on and on about being a shrimp boat captain.

“My manager sent me a script and she said, ‘I want you to read this. The lead character is a mentally challenged man; his best friend is mentally challenged’,” Grier told U.S. late show host Busy Philipps on Monday (26Nov18). “Now already I’m funky. I’m like, ‘Listen, if I’m going to be playing a mentally challenged person, I got to be the lead, I can’t be the mentally challenged sidekick.”

“It was Forrest Gump,” he continued. “So I read 20 pages (of the script) and I said, ‘Listen man, I’m not going in on this. He’s talking about shrimp the whole d**n movie, no. I don’t get it’. She called me three times, she said, ‘The director (Robert Zemeckis) loves you, everybody (loves you)’.”

However, after he saw Mykelti Williamson’s performance as Bubba, he knew he should have auditioned.

“Cut to a year later, we’re in New York, same manager, said, ‘Let’s go see the movie’ and seven minutes in I’m like (crying), ‘D**n, he’s talking about shrimp, it’s in my soul, I feel it’. I was like, ‘Why didn’t you (convince me to take the part)?’ She’s like, ‘Shut up, I sent you that script three times, you never went in (to audition)’.

“That was a lesson learned. It was all on me, I screwed that up.”

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Harrison Ford’s Han Solo jacket set to sell for over $1 million at props auction

A jacket worn by Harrison Ford as Han Solo in Star Wars is estimated to sell for over $1 million (£762,000) at an upcoming auction.The navy jacket featuring four front pockets that Ford donned in 1980 cinema classic The Empire Strikes Back is part of …

A jacket worn by Harrison Ford as Han Solo in Star Wars is estimated to sell for over $1 million (£762,000) at an upcoming auction.

The navy jacket featuring four front pockets that Ford donned in 1980 cinema classic The Empire Strikes Back is part of 600 lots being sold off by Prop Store during a live auction on 20 September (18) at London’s BFI IMAX cinema.

The fedora hat worn by Ford’s other famous alter ego, Indiana Jones, in Raiders of the Lost Ark is also going under the hammer, with experts estimating it will fetch up to $397,000 (£300,000), while adventurer Indy’s bullwhip from The Temple of Doom is poised to fetch up to $92,000 (£70,000).

There will also be lots of other Star Wars props on offer for fans of the sci-fi franchise, including a Stormtrooper helmet from the first Star Wars film as well as a similar helmet from 2017’s The Last Jedi.

And judging by a recent auction held in Las Vegas, appetite for original Star Wars props is high, with a blaster used by Han Solo in Return of the Jedi fetching $550,000 (£419,000).

Among the other lots at the upcoming Prop Store sale is the costume worn by Johnny Depp in the 1990 film Edward Scissorhands, the robe worn by Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club, the Jumanji game board from the 1995 film, Marty McFly’s (Michael J. Fox) hoverboard from Back to the Future Part II, Forrest Gump’s (Tom Hanks) Bubba Gump Shrimp hat and a Wonka Bar from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.

And for movie fans whose pockets aren’t that deep, all items will be on display for the public to view from 6 September.

“Our auction on September 20 2018 will once again raise the bar, presenting some of the most iconic cinematic artefacts of our time,” Stephen Lane, chief executive of Prop Store, said in a statement.

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Robert Zemeckis to direct adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches

Robert Zemeckis is set to direct a new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches.The celebrated American filmmaker rose to fame in the 1980s for directing Romancing the Stone, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the Back to the Future film trilogy, and later won …

Robert Zemeckis is set to direct a new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches.

The celebrated American filmmaker rose to fame in the 1980s for directing Romancing the Stone, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the Back to the Future film trilogy, and later won the Academy Award for Best Director for 1994’s Forrest Gump.

While Zemeckis has focused on dramas such as 2012’s Flight and 2016 war film Allied in recent years, he is now looking to return to the family-friendly genre with a fresh iteration of The Witches, based on the children’s dark fantasy novel first published in 1983.

While The Shape of Water helmer Guillermo del Toro had been attached to the Warner Bros.’ project, The Hollywood Reporter states that Zemeckis is now taking charge. He will also pen the script and produce with his ImageMovers partner Jack Rapke, while del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron are on board as executive producers.

Dahl’s book is set partly in Norway and partly in the United Kingdom and features the experiences of a young British boy and his Norwegian grandmother in a world where child-hating evil witches secretly exist. In 1990, the tale was adapted for the big screen by Nicolas Roeg, with the film set in America and starring Anjelica Huston and Rowan Atkinson as key characters.

The Witches isn’t the only Dahl adaption Warner Bros. studio bosses are preparing for, as a remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is also in the works. Paddington director Paul King and writer Simon Rich are both attached to the project, though further details are being kept under wraps.

Zemeckis’s latest film, Welcome to Marwen, is currently in post-production. The feature is based on Jeff Malmberg’s 2010 documentary Marwencol and stars Steve Carell, Diane Kruger and Janelle Monae.

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