No fibbing: Disney is developing a live-action movie loosely based on the truth-stretching "Pinocchio."
Peter Hedges, the screenwriter of "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and director of "Dan In Real Life," is writing the script, The Times has confirmed. The project is in the early stages of development and does not have a director attached or a release date. Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.
"Pinocchio" is the latest in a barrage of films Disney is adapting from its own animated classics. The studio has had success recently taking its toon favorites and remaking them as live-action movies, including "Alice in Wonderland," "Maleficent" (based on "Sleeping Beauty") and "Cinderella," with "Beauty and the Beast" "The Jungle Book," "Dumbo," "Mulan" and "Winnie the Pooh" also in the works.
Originally introduced in Italian author Carlo Collodi's 1883 novel "The Adventures of Pinocchio," the titular puppet is best known to Americans from the 1940 Disney animated classic, which featured the voices of Dickie Jones as Pinocchio, Christian Rub as Geppetto and Cliff Edwards as Jiminy Cricket.
Regarded as one of the finest animated movies of all time, "Pinocchio" was just the second full-length Disney animated feature and the first to win an Oscar in a competitive category (two, actually — original score and original song). It was not, however, a box-office hit upon its original release.
The "Pinocchio" story has graced the big screen several times aside from the 1940 Disney version, including the 2002 Italian film "Pinocchio" with Roberto Benigni and the 1996 film "The Adventures of Pinocchio" with Jonathan Taylor Thomas.