Tim Burton May Direct PINOCCHIO for Warner Bros.; Robert Downey Jr. Courted to Star

     January 6, 2012

Competing projects with the same premise (usually based on a fairy tale) has become a thing as of late, and a new race has just kicked into high gear. Director Tim Burton is interested in directing Warner Bros.’ take on Pinocchio, and he has his eye on Robert Downey Jr. to star as Geppetto. The film tells the story of the woodcarver’s quest to reunite with his missing marionette. While it’s easy to roll one’s eyes at a project like this, the Black List script was written by Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller. If it’s anywhere near the delightfully charming tone of his ill-fated television series, this Pinocchio take could make for quite the feature film. Throw in Burton and Downey Jr. and that’s a whole lot of whimsy. Hit the jump for more.

robert_downey_jr_image(1)Heat Vision reports that Burton is currently in talks to direct the film, and Downey Jr. is his first choice to star. Downey Jr. has apparently expressed serious interest in the project, but his busy schedule first has to be worked out. Warner Bros. is hoping that both sign on soon so they can fast track the project, but if Burton decides to choose one of his other lingering projects as his next directorial effort (like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), the studio may move on to another director.

Then there’s the issue of Downey Jr.’s schedule. His next project is most likely Iron Man 3, and Marvel understandably wants to get production going as soon as possible. There’s no official word on when Pinocchio would shoot, but it would have to be soon for Downey Jr. to be able to fit it in. Personally, I like the idea of Burton and Downey Jr. teaming up on a Bryan Fuller script. They’re three of the more imaginative minds in the business and should cook up quite the epic fairy tale.

As I said before, Pinocchio kicks off a bit of a competing project race with director Shawn Levy (Real Steel) attached to direct the Pinocchio prequel The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto. That film also centers on Geppetto, but it tells the story of his quest to reunite with his true love (who is a woman, not a puppet). Levy has yet to decide on his next project, so whether Fox kicks The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto into high gear following this Warner Bros. announcement remains to be seen.

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