One of Disney’s major upcoming live-action adaptations of their classic work seems to have hit a bit of a snag. Paul King, director of both Paddington and Paddington 2, was on board last year to direct Pinocchio, but it seems now that he has dropped out and Disney are hunting for a new director for the project.
Cameras were possibly gearing up to shoot the film this summer with Tom Hanks on board to play Geppetto, but cinematographer Seamus McGarvey went as far to say that the film itself has been cancelled:
“I don’t think it’s a secret anymore, but the film has been cancelled over the holidays, over Christmas […] The director basically pulled out of the film, for family reasons. Disney are trying to find a new director”.
Disney have yet to report that King has left the project, but if so, it would mark the second director to leave Pinocchio director-less, as Sam Mendes previously dropped out in November 2017. King was set to work from a script he co-wrote with Paddington screenwriter Simon Farnaby.
Disney are probably not panicking, as they have plenty of other live-action versions of their classic stories in the works, including Mulan, The Little Mermaid, Lilo & Stitch and Peter Pan. Still, Pinocchio is one of their premier recognisable names, so they would like to get this sorted out sooner rather than later.
In regards to King, it was previously reported that although Paddington 3 was in the works, he was not on board to direct, which disappointed many fans considering his impeccable work on both films.
While it’s possible that he changed his mind and couldn’t stand to let his beloved (and critically acclaimed) bear move on without him, if he did indeed drop out of Pinocchio for family reasons, hopefully all is okay, and we wish him the best.