In a synthesis between subject matter and director unrivaled since, well, Welcome To Marwen, Robert Zemeckis is reportedly in talks to direct a CGI-heavy film about a disturbing simulacra of the human form that almost, but not quite, looks like a real human boy. That’s right: Variety is reporting that Zemeckis (forward mail to permanent residence in the uncanney valley, please) is in early talks to take on a live-action remake of Pinocchio for Disney.
This was, presumably, inevitable; the Mouse House has made it clear that it’s not going to rest until every film in its venerable host of franchises has been converted into slightly-gray CG animated goo, the better to drably wow kids and nostalgic adults alike. Were it to be released tomorrow, Pinocchio would be the 11th such film to go into production (provided we set the start date for this trend with Maleficent, anyway; if we’re only counting full-on remakes and skipping movies like Christopher Robin and Mistress Of Evil, it’d be the 8th.) It’s actually kind of weird that Zemeckis hasn’t been drafted to direct one of these already, alongside the likes of Guy Ritchie, Jon Favreau, and Tim Burton; he and Disney have worked together fruitfully in the past, and these recreations of traditional animation into a slightly more realistic world are exactly the sort of technical puzzles he’s focused the majority of his attention on in recent years.
Variety notes that Zemeckis has been “eyeing” the film since the summer, but has been busy filming his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches. Provided he takes the job, Zemeckis’ first priority will be finding a lead actor to anchor the movie; Tom Hanks was originally circling the part of the story’s mournful puppetmaker, but we can only cross our fingers and hope that Zemeckis will be able to dig up the truly fuckable Gepetto of our dreams.