Director Sam Mendes drops out of Disney's live-action Pinocchio movie; could Bond 25 be next?

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Mar 26, 2021, 5:00 PM EDT (Updated)

Sam Mendes, who was set to direct Disney's upcoming live-action Pinocchio movie, has now left the project.

Back in May, Mendes was reported to be in negotiations to direct the film for the Mouse House, but according to The Tracking Board, he's now dropped the project. He had initially been in talks to direct Disney's live-action adaptation of James and the Giant Peach before reportedly signing on for Pinocchio. Now that Mendes has exited, no director is currently attached to either project for Disney.

Of course, speculation is already swirling around the reason for Mendes' departure, and whether that coincides with the upcoming Bond 25 film, which will be Daniel Craig's last in the role of James Bond. Mendes previously directed two Bond movies in the Craig ouevre: Skyfall and Spectre.

While sources claim that Mendes' leaving is not linked to the Bond franchise, it's also worth noting that Bond 25 is as-of-now without a director, too. Other names have been floated to direct, such as Yann Demange and David Mackenzie, but nothing's been solidified.

Pinocchio, which was released back in 1940, is currently being adapted for live action via a script from Chris Weitz, who also wrote the screenplay for Disney's live-action version of Cinderella in 2015, as well as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. As for Disney's live-action slate, we have several films to look forward to, including Tim Burton’s Dumbo, Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, and Jon Favreau’s The Lion King.