Sam Mendes in talks to bring Disney’s live-action ‘Pinocchio’ to life

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Sam Mendes. Image: AFP/Mark Ralston

The British filmmaker  who directed the last two “James Bond” movies is reportedly in early talks with Disney to helm its live-action version of the animated classic “Pinocchio”, according to Deadline.

Sam Mendes, who won the Best Director Oscar in 2000 for his debut picture, “American Beauty”, is perhaps best known to moviegoers as the director of the two most recent “James Bond” movies, “Skyfall” and “Spectre”.

The British filmmaker could now be set to direct a new movie based on the story of Gepetto, the woodcarver who creates the Pinocchio puppet, who is brought to life by a fairy. This 19th-century Italian tale previously served as the basis for Disney’s second animated movie, released in 1940.

However, no contract has yet been signed. Reports suggest that Sam Mendes hasn’t yet had time to meet with Disney chiefs to talk about the film. If an agreement is reached, the director will join rank with Bill Condon, whose “Beauty and the Beast” remake has grossed $1.2 billion at the box office, Jon Favreau (“The Jungle Book”), recruited for the “Lion King” live-action remake, Tim Burton, who will direct “Dumbo”, Guy Ritchie, who could be set to helm “Aladdin” with Will Smith, and Niki Caro for “Mulan”.

Disney is also working on a live-action “101 Dalmatians” spin-off called “Cruella”, starring Emma Stone, as well as “The Little Mermaid” and “Mary Poppins Returns”, following more adventures of the famous English nanny, played by Emily Blunt. Meryl Streep and Colin Firth will also star in this new version, directed by Rob Marshall (“Chicago”) and slated for release around Holiday 2018. JB

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