Tim Burton and Robert Downey Jr. Team Up for ‘Pinocchio’

Could this be the first live-action Pinocchio that isn't just awful?

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Disney's animated Pinocchio still scares the crap out of me. Not the little puppet dude, and not even the whole donkey transformation sequence (although that's pretty creepy too), but Monstro. That whale freaks my s**t out. The first shot with that monstrosity – Hey! I get it now! – where he looms on the horizon like an enormous mountain, is horrifying when the bubbles spew forth from his mouth, giving a sudden, shocking sense of scale. Yeah, that Pinocchio movie is pretty damned excellent, even to this day. Because it was animated. Every single live-action attempt to bring the Italian storybook to life has ended in utter failure, perhaps until now.

Hollywood Reporter announced that Warner Bros. is developing a new version of Carlo Collodi's 1883 children's book for Tim Burton to direct. We don't know if he'd get to this before his upcoming adaptation of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, but he might be joined by Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role of Geppetto, Pinocchio's creator/father. The new script, by Pushing Daises creator Bryan Fuller, apparently reimagines the original story from Geppetto's perspective, as he searches for his lost wooden son after the little lying bastard disappears en route to his first day at school.

Our concerns: 1) This role might be too close to Downey's upcoming reimagining of The Wizard of Oz, namely Sam Raimi's Oz, The Great and Powerful, 2) How many times can Tim Burton possibly reimagine a classic fantasy tale? Seriously? 

[CORRECTION: Yes, Downey is off 'Oz, the Great and Powerful' now. We screwed up. In the interest of flagellating ourselves publically, we're leaving the original version up with these editorial statements. 1) Whoops, and 2) Our apologies. Thanks to Michele Wilbers for keeping us honest!]

And most importantly, 3) Every live-action adaptation of Pinocchio has been awful. Remember the Jonathan Taylor Thomas version? Or Roberto Benigni's… thing?


CraveOnline will be back with more Pinocchio news, and we ain't lying.