With Paddington 2 capturing the hearts of cinema goers of all ages from around the world, director Paul King must have been feeling pretty good over the past few months. He’s probably feeling even better now, as Disney has enlisted him to direct their live-action adaptation of Pinocchio.
Variety reports that the director is in talks with Disney right now, and it’s a project that’s been in the works for some time. Sam Mendes (Skyfall) was previously attached to direct before departing last November. Chris Weitz and Peter Hedges previously wrote a script, which is now being rewritten by Jack Thorne (Wonder).
King’s involvement comes on the heels of him signing on to direct Warner Bros. new adaptation of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, confirming his status as the new go-to director for films based on beloved children’s stories. However, if King finalises his deal for Pinocchio, it sounds as if he’ll make the Disney movie first as production is looking to begin this autumn.
It’s a meteoric rise for King, who first came to prominence as the director of the British series The Mighty Boosh. Even the first Paddington film wasn’t really seen as a big deal when in production, but its heartwarming lovability made it a hit, before the sequel improved upon it.
Pinocchio is one of several live-action Disney updates in the works, with Christopher Robin hitting cinemas this November, before a trio of potentially huge films come our way in 2019: Jon Favreau‘s The Lion King, Guy Ritchie‘s Aladdin, and Tim Burton‘s Dumbo. With Pinocchio likely heading into production later this year, one would imagine Disney are aiming for a 2020 release date.