Robert Zemeckis is in talks to direct Disney's live-action remake of Pinocchio.
Skyfall director Sam Mendes was originally tapped to helm the live-action remake of the 1940 animated classic but he exited the project in 2017 and was replaced by Paddington's Paul King, who subsequently stepped down from the role for unknown reasons at the start of this year.
However, according to Variety, Forrest Gump director Zemeckis is now in early talks to direct Pinocchio, which tells the tale of a living puppet who, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.
Zemeckis, who was also behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the Back to the Future films, has reportedly been eyeing the project since the summer but didn't want to commit until he had made more progress with his movie adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Witches, which stars Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer.
The 67-year-old began to set his sights on his next project when that went into the post-production phase.
According to editors at Variety, the director will now be looking to find an actor to play Geppetto, Pinocchio's carpenter creator. Zemeckis's frequent collaborator Tom Hanks had been circling the role but eventually passed.
Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz are producing through their company Depth of Field from a script penned by Weitz. The most recent draft of the screenplay had been written by Weitz, King, and Paddington 2 screenwriter Simon Farnaby. Paddington producer David Heyman is no longer involved with the film.
The live-action movie is not the only Pinocchio project in the works - Guillermo del Toro has teamed up with Netflix bosses to create a stop-motion animation based on Carlo Collodi's classic tale.