Tom Hanks in talks to play Geppetto in live-action Pinocchio

Tom Hanks is in early negotiations to play Geppetto in Disney and director Robert Zemeckis’ live-action Pinocchio remake.The Oscar-winning actor was originally approached by Disney bosses to play the woodcarver, whose wish brings the titular wooden pup…

Tom Hanks is in early negotiations to play Geppetto in Disney and director Robert Zemeckis’ live-action Pinocchio remake.

The Oscar-winning actor was originally approached by Disney bosses to play the woodcarver, whose wish brings the titular wooden puppet to life, when Paul King was attached to direct, but he declined the role.

However, Hanks reached out to Zemeckis after reading the script, and let the filmmaker know that he was interested in the movie, according to Deadline.

The duo have a long-standing working relationship, after they both won Oscars for their work on 1994 comedy drama Forrest Gump, before reuniting on Cast Away in 2000, and animated Christmas adventure The Polar Express in 2004.

Zemeckis will direct Pinocchio, with Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz producing, and Weitz and Zemeckis penning the script.

The Disney animated classic, which was released in 1940, tells the tale of a wooden puppet who, with the help of tenacious insect Jiminy Cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to the Blue Fairy in order to become a real boy.

Next up for Hanks will be Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic, in which the actor will portray the music icon’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

The 64-year-old was in Australia preparing for the shoot in March, when he and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for Covid-19, and after production was shut down, filming is now scheduled to resume this autumn.

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Guillermo del Toro shut down Nightmare Alley filming mid-scene

Guillermo del Toro was in the middle of filming a scene when production was shut down on Nightmare Alley.Back in March, bosses at Disney announced the psychological thriller, starring Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Ron Per…

Guillermo del Toro was in the middle of filming a scene when production was shut down on Nightmare Alley.

Back in March, bosses at Disney announced the psychological thriller, starring Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Ron Perlman and Rooney Mara, was shuttered amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a recent interview with IndieWire Live, the Oscar-winning director revealed he had approached the studio to ask them if he could stop filming a week before the industry-wide shutdown.

“We reacted super fast, we proposed the studio to stop as opposed to being asked to stop,” del Toro explained. “That saved us. Nobody to my knowledge in the cast or the crew got coronavirus.

“We were roughly 45 percent in. We were literally in the middle of a great scene. We went to lunch and talked to the studio and when we came back we said, ‘Everybody leave your tools and leave now’.”

The Shape of Water director also shared his hopes about getting production back up and running in the fall, adding: “Fingers crossed. You never know.”

Filming on his stop-motion Pinocchio musical has already resumed, and the 55-year-old has been creating 80-page documents for both Pinocchio and Nightmare Alley to ensure safety protocols are met during the coronavirus crisis.

“In stop-motion, you have many sets nearby one another in a warehouse-like space,” he shared. “We had to create a protocol where we now space the sets a certain number of feet. We created different shifts so no one is exposed. In this moment, security is paramount.

“I don’t think we can go back to what we consider the old normal. Everything will be a little altered.”

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Ewan McGregor voicing Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Ewan McGregor is voicing the character of Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro’s take on Pinocchio. The Scottish actor has revealed that he had finished recording his dialogue for the Talking Cricket before the Covid-19 outbreak struck. “That I had …

Ewan McGregor is voicing the character of Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro’s take on Pinocchio.

The Scottish actor has revealed that he had finished recording his dialogue for the Talking Cricket before the Covid-19 outbreak struck.

“That I had started working on before I left for New York, so some of that is recorded,” McGregor told ACE Universe. “And of course it’s stop-frame animation, so it’s going to take them a great long time to make that film. But my first part of that, which is recording his dialogue, is sort of done.”

He then teased the possibility he would be singing in the movie, after his well-received performances in musical movies such as the live-action Beauty and the Beast and Moulin Rouge!

“There may or may not be a song that needs to be recorded. I’m not sure I’m at liberty to discuss that. Even though we’re just privately talking, you know,” he joked.

The Oscar-winning director’s stop-motion animation version of Carlo Collodi’s classic novel, which will be set in Italy during the rise of fascism in the 1930s, will also feature the voices of Ron Perlman, Tilda Swinton, and Christoph Waltz.

Mark Gustafson is serving as co-director alongside del Toro on Pinocchio, while Patrick McHale is co-writing the script.

The 55-year-old filmmaker previously revealed that his version of the classic tale, which was transformed into an animated musical fantasy film by Disney in 1940, will be a bleak re-telling.

“In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend,” The Shape of Water director said. “He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world.”

Pinocchio is set to be released on Netflix in 2021.

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Bambi remake in the works

A remake of Disney classic Bambi is in the works.According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney executives have begun development on a remake of their 1942 animated feature Bambi, which told the story of the titular fawn who befriends a rabbit named Thump…

A remake of Disney classic Bambi is in the works.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney executives have begun development on a remake of their 1942 animated feature Bambi, which told the story of the titular fawn who befriends a rabbit named Thumper and a skunk named Flower before coping with the death of his mother.

Disney officials have reportedly hired Captain Marvel screenwriter Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Sierra Burgess Is a Loser’s Lindsey Beer to pen the screenplay for the remake of Bambi, which was not well-received upon its release but is now held in high regard.

Insiders have told the publication that Bambi will be treated in a similar manner to recent remakes of The Jungle Book and The Lion King, which were made using groundbreaking special effects that made the animated animals look photorealistic. Disney bosses are also reportedly not attempting to add a larger narrative into Bambi, despite its simple scope and story.

Beer addressed the lack of plot in Bambi when replying to a Twitter user over the weekend. She wrote, “This was the challenge in coming up with our pitch, how to honour the intimate brilliance of the original but transcend the plot into something more epic and suited to modern audiences. Fine line, but I think we succeeded. I guess you/we shall see.”

The remake is being produced by Chris and Paul Weitz and Andrew Miano for their production banner Depth of Field, which is also developing a live-action remake of Pinocchio to be directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Other Disney remakes in the pipeline include Mulan, 101 Dalmatians prequel Cruella, starring Emma Stone, and Rob Marshall’s The Little Mermaid, featuring Halle Bailey.

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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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Leonardo DiCaprio in talks for Guillermo del Toro’s new thriller

Leonardo DiCaprio is reportedly set to take the lead in Guillermo del Toro’s new thriller Nightmare Alley.Del Toro, who wrote the script with Kim Morgan, is planning to make the project his return to directing after winning the Best Picture and Best Di…

Leonardo DiCaprio is reportedly set to take the lead in Guillermo del Toro’s new thriller Nightmare Alley.

Del Toro, who wrote the script with Kim Morgan, is planning to make the project his return to directing after winning the Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for The Shape of Water last year (18). The double win marked his first Academy Award success.

The film is based on William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name about a conman who teams up with a psychiatrist to trick people into giving them money.

The book has already been turned into a movie – 1947’s Nightmare Alley, which starred Tyrone Power and Joan Blondell.

The Mexican filmmaker is also in the pre-production stage of his long-awaited version of Pinocchio for Netflix, which will mark his first foray into animation. And the project appears to have had a huge impact on Del Toro, who is in the process of launching an animation centre in his native Mexico. The Centro Internacional de Animacion will be located in his hometown, Guadalajara, and will specialise in stop-motion technology, according to Variety.

Meanwhile, DiCaprio, who scooped his first Oscar in 2016 for The Revenant, has a busy summer ahead of him – he stars in Quentin Tarantino’s hotly anticipated ninth film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. He’s also signed on for a further three big budgets films, including his long-term collaborator Martin Scorsese’s Roosevelt, in which he’ll play former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.

The 44-year-old is also teaming with Scorsese on TV series The Devil in the White City, based on Erik Larson’s New York Times bestseller.

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Producer confirms new Willy Wonka movie will be a prequel

Producer David Heyman has confirmed the new Willy Wonka movie will be a prequel.In February (18), it was reported that Paddington filmmaker Paul King was in talks with executives at Warner Bros. to make another film inspired by Roald Dahl’s 1964 childr…

Producer David Heyman has confirmed the new Willy Wonka movie will be a prequel.

In February (18), it was reported that Paddington filmmaker Paul King was in talks with executives at Warner Bros. to make another film inspired by Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

While writer Simon Rich’s storyline for the project remains under wraps, Heyman has now divulged that the film will be a prequel, rather than a follow-up tale, about the eccentric chocolatier.

“We are still trying to figure out how to tell that story, what the story is. It’s a prequel, it’s not a sequel,” he told Collider.com. “What makes Willy when we find him at the chocolate factory doing the golden ticket, where is he before that? What leads him to that place where he’s locked himself away? It’s how does he get there? So, we’re playing around with that.”

In the original 1971 Mel Stuart-directed film, in which Wonka was played by Gene Wilder, the character’s origin story wasn’t explored.

And in the 2005 Tim Burton version, which featured Johnny Depp, flashbacks revealed that Wonka’s father, a prominent dentist named Wilbur, who was portrayed by Christopher Lee, strictly forbade him from consuming candy due to the potential risk to his teeth – leading him to later launch his own chocolate factory.

Heyman went on to explain he is hopeful that King will be able to helm the movie, though the director is currently in the pre-production phases of Disney’s live-action Pinocchio adaptation, meaning he will be busy for at least the next 18 months.

The British producer, who worked on both Paddington movies and the Harry Potter film franchise, is currently promoting Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which stars Eddie Redmayne, Depp and Katherine Waterston, and is due for release on 16 November.

There is still no word on who might be cast as Wonka in the new film, with Ryan Gosling, Ezra Miller, Donald Glover reportedly all in the running to play the iconic character.

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Guillermo Del Toro to make animated feature directing debut on Pinocchio

Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is teaming up with Netflix bosses to make his animated feature film directing debut on a revamped Pinocchio. The Shape of Water director will also co-write the script with Patrick McHale and produce the stop-…

Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is teaming up with Netflix bosses to make his animated feature film directing debut on a revamped Pinocchio.

The Shape of Water director will also co-write the script with Patrick McHale and produce the stop-motion musical version of the classic children’s story, which will take place in 1930s Italy and centre on a puppet who wants to be a real boy, according to Variety.

The project will be co-directed by claymation and animation expert Mark Gustafson.

Filming will begin later this year (18) and del Toro reveals he has dreamed of making his version of Carlo Collodi’s classic tale since he was a little kid.

“No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio,” a statement from del Toro reads. “In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend.

“He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world.”

“I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember,” the statement continues. “After the incredible experience (Netflix bosses and I) have had on (TV series) Trollhunters, I am grateful that the talented team at Netflix is giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to introduce audiences everywhere to my version of this strange puppet-turned-real-boy.”

Meanwhile, the filmmaker is also collaborating with executives at the streaming service on series Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight.

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Guillermo del Toro contemplating new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches

Guillermo del Toro is considering taking on Roald Dahl’s The Witches as his next project.The 1983 novel, about a secret society of child-hating evil witches, was given the Hollywood treatment in 1990, with Anjelica Huston appearing as the Grand High Wi…

Guillermo del Toro is considering taking on Roald Dahl’s The Witches as his next project.

The 1983 novel, about a secret society of child-hating evil witches, was given the Hollywood treatment in 1990, with Anjelica Huston appearing as the Grand High Witch, and Brenda Blethyn and Rowan Atkinson co-starring.

Talking to Mail Online, Guillermo said he was “eating, drinking and thinking philosophically” about four potential new projects, including The Witches. He also still wants to make Pinocchio in stop motion, a feature he has been trying to get off the ground for years.

“I have given myself until September to decide, then I will pick one of the four and prepare to make it,” he revealed.

And his lead The Shape of Water actress Sally Hawkins may well feature in his as yet undecided next project.

Hawkins took on the role of mute janitor Elisa Esposito in the movie, which bagged Guillermo his first Oscar. The film won a further three Academy Awards – Best Picture, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures and Best Achievement in Production Design.

“Every time we meet up or speak on the phone or send an email the word ‘when’ is included. As in: ‘When are we to work together again?!'” he said of the English actress.

The Mexican filmmaker also has two TV projects he created currently in pre-production, Wizards and 3 Below, as well as crime drama Nightmare Alley and a new Michael Mann documentary.

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