‘Pinocchio’ live-action: Alan Cumming, Stephen Graham eyed as villains

Pinocchio

Disney’s live-action take on Pinocchio will include two villains. The studio is reportedly eyeing actors Alan Cumming and Stephen Graham to play the roles.

Tom Hanks is the first actor to join Pinocchio as the grandfather and woodcarver, Geppetto. Casting is still underway for the titular character, as well as the roles for Jiminy Cricket, Blue Fairy, Gideon, and Stromboli.

But Cummings might sign on to play Honest John, described as a con-man who convinces Pinocchio to stop school. He eventually sells the wooden boy to the circus.

Graham is being considered for the Coachman. The role is another sinister character who lures boys into joining him in Pleasure Island. There, the Coachman turns the boys into donkeys, per a report from The DisInsider.

Reports also cited that Gideon will be gender-flipped in the live-action version.

A dream project for Hanks

The live-action Pinocchio movie will reportedly be called Maestro on the big screen. Filming is set to start in April 2021 with director Robert Zemeckis.

Hanks and Zemeckis have worked together in the other films: Forrest Gump (1994), Cast Away (2000), and The Polar Express (2004). According to Deadline, Hanks himself approached Zemeckis for the lead role, but Disney was keen on casting him as Geppetto when the live-action was in development years ago.

Pinocchio will be based on the story of Italian author Carlo Collodi and will center on a carver (Geppetto) who crafts a wooden boy. A Blue Fairy promises the figure she’ll turn him into a real boy if he demonstrates bravery. Jiminy Cricket becomes the boy’s conscience as he goes on different adventures, including being kidnapped for the circus.

A different Netflix version

Netflix is also doing a stop-motion version of the tale with Guillermo del Toro as the director. A newcomer named Gregory Mann will voice the titular character with Ewan McGregor playing Jiminy and David Bradley playing Geppetto.

This production is set to be released in 2021 and will also feature the voices of Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett, Christoph Waltz, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Burn Gorman, Tim Blake Nelson, and Finn Wolfhard.

 

Disney’s Pinocchio, on the other hand, is not likely to be on the big screen until 2022. The studio first released an animated version of this story in 1940, following its very first animated musical, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in 1937. It was considered a groundbreaking feat since the animation also includes moving vehicles, changing weather, and special effects like the fairy dust.

 

Image courtesy of Disney/YouTube

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