Things have been pretty quiet on the front of Warner Bros.’ live-action Pinocchio picture ever since Paul Thomas Anderson was reported to be writing and possibly directing the adaptation. While the addition of an auteur like Anderson would have given the film a huge PR boost, it’s now looking like he won’t be directing after all. There’s no word on whether or not Anderson’s script for the film is still in process, or even if it will be used at all. If and when another director steps in, they’ll likely want to tailor it more to their vision as a solely Paul Thomas Anderson-written script without Paul Thomas Anderson in the director’s chair could prove unwieldy; Anderson has never written something, even a video short, that he didn’t also direct.
Then again, Warner Bros.’ Pinocchio still has Robert Downey Jr. attached, and that guy’s no slouch. But keep in mind that the studio heads are now looking at this adaptation in light of the disastrous box office and critical performance of Joe Wright’s Pan which has yet to even earn back its budget. If Hugh Jackman couldn’t draw audiences in, I’m not sure if RDJ’s name on the marquee will be enough; WB likely feels the same at the moment, but that’s neither been confirmed nor denied.
News of PTA’s decision not to direct Pinocchio comes courtesy of The Wrap’s Jeff Sneider:
Hearing Paul Thomas Anderson won’t direct PINOCCHIO & Alfonso Cuaron passed on DOCTOR SLEEP after being rumored to direct earlier this year.
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) November 12, 2015
So while Warner Bros.’ Pinocchio project remains rather lifeless, Disney also has a similar movie in the works. We haven’t heard much on that film since April of this year. There’s also a stop-motion Pinocchio project from Guillermo del Toro that’s been tinkered with for quite some time. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess just which project will be the first to bring the titular wooden doll to life on the big screen.