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Disney Live-Action Shakeup: Sam Mendes Jumps to ‘Pinocchio’ From ‘James and the Giant Peach’

Oscar winner was attached to Roald Dahl property last summer, now circling beloved wooden puppet

Sam Mendes is about to put down the peach and pick up “Pinocchio,” TheWrap has learned.

The esteemed and commercially proven director is exploring a live-action adaptation of the 1940 Walt Disney classic “Pinocchio,” an individual familiar with the change told TheWrap.

Less than a year ago, the Academy Award winner was attached to direct a flesh-and-blood version of Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach.” He’s now switched focus, the insider said, and has been taking meetings on “Pinocchio.”

While “Pinocchio” might sound like a newer name in the staggering amount of live-action titles being developed from Disney’s animated vault, it was one of the earliest announced. “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” screenwriter Peter Hedges came on board to write the script in 2015.

It’s no secret that the live-action initiative within the Alan Horn-run studio division has been a lucrative one — recent adaptations of  “Cinderella,” “The Jungle Book” and “Beauty and the Beast” have grossed over $2.7 billion worldwide, combined.

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Mendes last directed “Spectre,” his last installment in Sony and MGM’s James Bond franchise. That grossed $880 million worldwide.

The news was first reported by Deadline.