Everyone loves Tom Hanks, especially now that the coronavirus has forced us to confront the possibility that he might not be with us forever, but even the most dedicated member of the Hanks Army has to admit that he tends to step into the same kind of role in every movie—especially now that he’s, you know, aging. Not counting The Circle, which we’re pretty sure nobody saw, the closest he’s come to playing a bad guy lately is SNL’s David S. Pumpkins, and even then we don’t really know what his deal is. No, Hanks always plays a warm-hearted father-figure, whether that means he’s the leader of a group of toys, the captain of a boat, a movie studio executive with no controversial beliefs whatsoever, the captain of a different boat, a beloved TV personality, or a goose-hating airline pilot (which is also called a captain).
So do we need to say which role Disney wants Tom Hanks to play in its live-action Pinocchio movie directed by Robert Zemeckis? It’s not the wooden boy. It’s not the bug. It’s not the fairy. Who could it be??? Anyway, this comes from Deadline, which says Hanks is in “early negotiations” for this mystery role and that he personally reached out to Zemeckis to volunteer for the gig after reading the script. That means Disney could theoretically get away with paying him less, especially since Hanks and Zemeckis are longtime Oscar buddies, but the studio has also unwisely made it clear over the years that it really wants him to play this unnamed character whose identity will never be revealed. That probably means Hanks has the upper-hand when it comes to these negotiations, and considering that he previously played a hagiographic version of Walt Disney himself, the studio surely owes him some favors.