Actor Tom Hanks is in early negotiations with Disney to take on the role of Geppetto in the studio's upcoming live-action remake of Pinocchio. Robert Zemeckis, who previously worked with Hanks on critically-acclaimed features such as Forrest Gump, Cast Away and Polar Express, will helm the project.
According to Deadline, Hanks has reached out to Zemeckis to let him know he wants to do the film after the veteran star read the script. Chris Weitz has written the script with Zemeckis. The writer will also produce the film with Andrew Miano through their company Depth of Field.
Disney's original film, which released in 1940, was based on the 1883 Italian children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. The animated feature centres on a wood-carver named Geppetto who carves a wooden puppet brought to life by a fairy and told him that he will become a real boy if he proves himself to be "brave, truthful, and unselfish".
The project is the latest in a long line of Disney's live-action remakes of its animated movies such as Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. Hanks, 64, is currently working on Warner Bros' Elvis Presley biopic, which had to halt production after he and his wife, Rita Wilson, contracted coronavirus.
They have since recovered and the studio is hoping to start production again in the fall in Australia. Hanks recently starred as commander in the World War II combat drama Greyhound, which premiered on Apple TV Plus in July.