‘Paddington’ Director in Talks for Live-Action ‘Pinocchio’

Studio seeks to start production this fall with Paul King at the helm

Paul King Paddington Pinocchio

The director of the ‘Paddington” movies is in talks to direct Disney’s live-action “Pinocchio” film, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Studio seeks to start production this fall with Paul King at the helm. Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz are producing. Jack Thorne is rewriting the script.

Based on the animated classic, “Pinocchio” tells the story of woodworker Geppetto who when he sees a falling star, wishes that the puppet he just finished, Pinocchio, could become a real boy. In the night, the Blue Fairy grants Geppetto’s wish and asks Jiminy Cricket to serve as the wooden boy’s conscience. But the naive and trusting Pinocchio falls into the clutches of the wicked Honest John, who leads him astray to the sinful Pleasure Island.

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.