While a deal has not yet been closed, the Back to the Future creator has long been eyeing the project. However, he wanted to focus on his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches for Warner Bros. first. That project has since entered post-production, and Zemeckis is now hoping to tie his strings to Pinocchio.
Should he sign on, Zemeckis would replace Paddington director Paul King, who left the film earlier this year. Producer David Heyman also departed, with Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz taking up the reins. Weitz is also penning the script.
Unfortunately, Pinocchio likely won’t end up being a Cast Away/The Polar Express/Forrest Gump reunion. Tom Hanks was long considered the frontrunner for the role of Geppetto, though he has since passed on the project. Perhaps Disney is hoping that bringing on his old pal Zemeckis might change the actor’s mind.
Pinocchio will be the latest in a long, largely successful line of live-action Disney adaptations of classic animated films. The Lion King and Aladdin both topped the $1 billion mark at the international box office, though Dumbo flew quite a bit lower, only taking in $353 million. Mulan is up next with a March 27th, 2020 release date, while Lady and the Tramp will premier on November 12th as on of the Disney+ launch titles.