Warner Bros. reportedly has a script in hand for a new adaptation of the Pinocchio story, which will likely be targeted at mature audiences this time around.
No one has wanted to touch the tale of the marionette come to life since the poorly received CGI Adventures of Pinocchio of ‘96 starring Martin Landau and Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Benigni’s farce doesn’t count), but perhaps 15 years has been long enough, as Warner Bros. is currently developing a screenplay by Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller.
The only information we’ve got for the script so far is that it follows the story of Pinocchio from Geppetto’s point of view, as he searches the world to find his lost wooden boy. Since it’s Bryan Fuller, we can expect a witty and compelling script, no matter what angle he drives, but I personally hope that he looks back to the original source material for inspiration, rather than just retelling the 1940’s Disney story again.
Dan Jinks (also from the Pushing Dasies team) is signed on to produce, but those are the only names officially on the roster as of yet. That doesn’t mean that Warner Bros. doesn’t have some idea of who they want to lead this picture. Tim Burton has expressed interest in directing this script in the past, and now that his schedule is clearing up - Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Frankenweenie are both in the final stages of post-production - he is giving the project another serious look.
In addition, Robert Downey Jr. expressed interest in the starring role of the film, if Burton takes the helm. Downey’s schedule is a lot more restrictive, however, as he’s in the midst of a multi-film deal with Marvel Studios.
Burton has a few other projects before him for consideration, but if he can find the time and energy to direct the film, Warner Bros. has already decided that they will take him up on it, and Burton says that if Downey can make the time, he’d like to work with him, so the whole thing looks very likely at this point, it all just comes down to ‘When?’
Of course, it will likely be a few years before the pair can find the time to make it all work. In the meantime, other studios might make a play at getting a Pinocchio film into development, since it seems to be time for one.