This is Going to Look A Lot Like Polar Express
Continuing to convert animated stories to “live-action” remakes, Disney and Robert Zemeckis, director of the creepy looking and relatively formulaic, Polar Express, has signed on to write and direct Pinnochio.
From the trades:
Oscar-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis is fully aboard Disney’s live-action remake of its animated classic Pinocchio. Zemeckis and Weitz will write off the previous draft that the latter penned with Simon Farnaby. The original 1940 Disney animated classic film ($85M lifetime domestic B.O. unadjusted for inflation) follows a wooden puppet, his father-creator Geppetto and the former’s quest to become a real boy.
Honestly, if there were any animated Disney film that stands as an allegory for our fractured times, it has to be Pinocchio. The story, based in Carlo Collodi’s 1883 Italian children’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, has stood the test of time and was even turned into the film A.I., Stanley Kubrick’s last writing hurrah that was given a needlessly saccharine ending by director Steven Spielberg.
This, under Zemecki’s hand, won’t be the accusatory, inaccessible allegory our 21st-century film audience culture needs.
Well…At Least They Hired a “Real” Talent
Zemeckis as a director really gets off on the technology of turning human beings into animatronic objects, and Pinnochio has plenty of room for being able to do that.
But, just like the Tim Burton-directed remake of Dumbo, this film, under Zemeckis’ direction and writing, will be scrubbed of all the elements that modern audiences might find to be morally, ethically, or even socially objectionable.
Also, Tom Hanks is sure to be cast as Geppetto.
What Are We To Make of All of This?
The animated to “live-action” remake train rolls right along at the Mouse House with no signs of stopping.
Normally, with Zemeckis attached to this we could hope that the Mouse House wouldn’t stick their noses in too much on Pinocchio, but after what they did with Tim Burton on Dumbo, and what they continue to do with Jon Favreau, look for Disney to treat Zemeckis just like the independent film directors with limited resumes and creative vision they normally employ on these films.