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WIRE Buzz: Italian Pinocchio trailer comes; Wonder Woman 1984 director's cut; more

By Josh Weiss

Another Monday afternoon, another edition of WIRE Buzz. Get even more caught up on the latest news in the world of genre with updates on Matteo Garrone's Pinocchio, Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 1984, and Rob Marshall's Little Mermaid.

Pinocchio is one of those cherished fairy tales that's having a minute in the pop culture spotlight. Along with the upcoming film adaptations from Disney and Guillermo del Toro, you've also got the Italian language version from director Matteo Garrone.

We now have the first trailer for that version, which looks like it'll use practical prosthetics to their fullest potential. The fleeting shots of humans made to look like bipedal birds and canines are hauntingly beautiful and bring to mind the dark parables from the mind of del Toro, whose own Pinocchio project is a stop motion musical for Netflix.

Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful), who wrote and directed his own take on the story in 2002, takes up the role of Geppetto, a puppet maker whose wish to raise a flesh and blood son is granted when one of his wooden creations comes to life.

Also written by Garrone, Pinocchio opens in Italy this December. France will get a taste in February of 2020, but there's no word on when it will be shown in the United States.

Appearing on Variety's My Favorite Episode podcast, director Patty Jenkins revealed that two cuts of Wonder Woman 1984 (out next summer) currently exist.

"I just finished another cut of the film, so I had done my director's cut [and] done another cut," she said. "I'm feeling super excited about it. It's too bad it'll be a while before it comes out, but that's great, too, because it really gives us the time to do the score and roll around in things. Last time, we were slamming right into a release date, so it's kind of a great benefit that I'll actually get to finish the film on a good pace."

Wonder Woman 1984 teaser poster

Originally scheduled to be released this November, the forthcoming comic book sequel was pushed to June of 2020. As a result, Sony snagged the spot for Elizabeth Banks' Charlie's Angels reboot. Warner Bros. also surprised fans in early June with the announcement that DC would not be showcasing anything at SDCC's famed Hall H. Instead, the real marketing for Wonder Woman 1984 will kick off this December.

"1984 was such an incredible, quintessential year of the '80s, which is why we picked it for the movie," added Jenkins. "It definitely was a very memorable important time in my life ... You look at the movies that came out [that year], you sort of can't imagine how there was room because they were [all] hits."

The film opens in theaters everywhere June 5, 2020. Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Connie Nielsen, and Chris Pine all co-star.

Freeform (the Disney-owned network that was once called ABC Family) took to social media to defend the casting of Halle Bailey's casting as Ariel in live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

"Yes. The original author of The Little Mermaid was Danish. a mermaid. She lives in an underwater kingdom in international waters and can legit swim wherever she wants ... Danish mermaids can be black because Danish people can be black ... Black Danish people, and thus mer-folk, can also genetically (!!!) have red hair. But spoiler alert—bring it back to the top—the character of Ariel is a work of fiction."

Since Bailey — an actor and one half of the musical duo known as Chloe x Halle — joined the project last week, some individuals online have insisted that the character must look like she did in the animated movie from 1989, where she had white skin and red hair. In addition, these same people have been declaring that their childhoods are now "ruined" because the character they grew up with will look different in live-action.

"So after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than the INSPIRED casting that it is because she 'doesn't look like the cartoon one,' oh boy, do I have some news for you...about you," finished Freeform's statement.

If you read Halle's name and your brain immediately worked the letters around to spell "Halle Berry," you're not alone. So many people got Bailey mixed up with the James Bond star, she eventually joined in on the Twitter dialogue to congratulate the younger actress on snagging the role of a lifetime.

"In case you needed a reminder... Halles get it DONE. Congratulations @chloexhalle on this amazing opportunity, we can’t wait to see what you do! #TheLittleMermaid #HalleBailey," wrote Berry.

At this time, Melissa McCarthy, Awkwafina, and Jacob Tremblay are all in talks with Disney to play Ursula, Scuttle, and Flounder respectively.

Helmed by Rob Marshall, production on the film is expected to kick off in early 2020.