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Paul King Leaves Directing Duties on Disney’s Pinocchio

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According to a person working on the live-action Pinocchio, that live-action adaptation seems to have hit a major, major speed bump.

Speaking to the folks over at Discussing Film, Seamus McGarvey, the cinematographer that was hired by director Paul King to step behind the camera for Pinocchio, says that the remake has hit a brick wall and may or may not see the light of day anytime soon.

McGarvey explained:

“I don’t think it’s a secret anymore, but the film has been canceled over the holidays, over Christmas. [King] basically pulled out of the film for family reasons. Disney is trying to find a new director, but yeah, I read those reports about Tom Hanks…and these other people. They’re trying to get it going, but I’m unlikely to be involved now because Paul King…wanted me to be his DP on the film and who knows the director that they eventually bring on…and it probably will be delayed by some time now — it probably won’t shoot until July or August, if it does at all.”

Now, we have no clue what the actual reasons for King’s departure are, and we won’t dare speculate, but many fans’ anticipation for the live-action Pinocchio rests on his shoulders. King is the man responsible for two of the best children’s films of the last 20 years with his two Paddington films, and many expected him to knock it out of the park with this Disney film.

Another hurdle for Disney at this point is the fact that Guillermo del Toro is already hard at work on his adaptation of the “Pinocchio” story for Netflix. However, del Toro’s version is skipping the live-action treatment and going for stop-motion to help tell the story of the puppet-turned-real-boy.

Obviously, Disney won’t be content with leaving Pinocchio on the shelf. The studio is running out of sure-fire hits that can be remade into live-action, as the Mouse House has already started to tread into the late-’90s and early-’00s for remake fodder. “Pinocchio” is a slam dunk, if it can be made soon, and so we would expect a replacement for King to be named as soon as possible.

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