Robert Downey Jr. wants to be Pinocchio and Gepetto

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There are only about a handful of people in Hollywood with enough on-screen charm to try spreading some of it around to other characters. Only about a couple of those could still make it work if one of those characters were literally a wooden puppet. And that’s exactly what Robert Downey Jr. wants to do.

The good folks at Bleeding Cool tell us:

I’ve been able to learn a few  details about the bearing that the project is now on. The plan, at least for today, is for Downey Jr. to play both Gepetto and Pinocchio.

It’s a younger Gepetto than you might expect – not really with any need for any ageing makeup. As for Pinocchio, I assumed that it might be a performance capture role, but that seems to be still up in the air. It could be just a voice role, if earlier plans to have Pinocchio’s physical form be an actual physical form still live on, and there was certainly a lot of discussion about how that might work.

This particular Pinocchio project started its life at Warner Bros. as a script by Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) that had a lot of people excited by its fresh take, with Tim Burton on board to direct. After a rewrite by Jane “Kick-Ass” Goldman, development seemed to cool for a while, until Ben Stiller’s name became attached to the project as a directorial sub for Burton.

As happens with works in the public domain there are other Pinocchio projects set to be developed, most interestingly a stop-motion version by Pacific Rim director and lover of monsters, Guillermo Del Toro. With Stiller still wrapping up post-production on his most recent directorial effort, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, it could be a race to the line to see who brings Carlo Collodi’s fairy tale to cinemas first.

The last race of this kind produced Snow White And the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror. This time the odds are in favour of something a lot more interesting, and truer to the real emotion of the Victorian era tale. And just in case you’ve forgotten what can happen when Ben Stiller directs Robert Downey, here’s a reminder:

Last Updated: July 17, 2013

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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