Paul Thomas Anderson attached to write Robert Downey Jr.'s Pinocchio project

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Jul 2, 2015, 12:01 PM EDT (Updated)

Warner's live-action Pinocchio movie starring honorary Avenger Robert Downey Jr. has snagged acclaimed writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson to pen the big-screen fable about the little wooden puppet, his woodcarver father and a dazzling blue fairy.  Since making an impressive directorial splash with 1997's Boogie Nights, Anderson has been intimately involved with several high-profile Hollywood projects that delivered a flood of industry awards and critical praise, including Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, The Master, Punch-Drunk Love and Inherent Vice.  No details have emerged as to whether the prolific filmmaker will also leap into Pinocchio's director's chair, but considering his deep commitment to his pet projects, the chances seem good. 

Warner Bros.' Pinocchio has been kicking around for a couple years with Tim Burton first set to direct and Downey attached to play Geppetto.  Burton eventually passed, and after numerous rewrites and director rumors, the last screenplay draft was completed by Michael Mitnick (The Giver).  It's unclear at this point whether aspects of Mitnick's script will be retained or whether Anderson plans a page-one revamp of the story.

Originally written in 1883 as The Adventures of Pinocchio by Italian children's author Carlos Collodi, many versions and adaptations have hit the stage and screen over the decades, including Walt Disney's beloved Pinocchio animated treasure of 1940, 1965's Pinocchio in Outer Space, 1996's The Adventures of Pinocchio starring Martin Landau and Jonathan Taylor Thomas and the much-unloved Pinocchio with Roberto Benigni from 2002.  Even the industrious "Man of 1000 Projects," Guillermo del Toro, had been working on a stop-motion-animated Pinocchio film with the Henson Company since 2008 that has apparently been shelved indefinitely. 

Disney Studios also has a current live-action Pinocchio project in development, loosely based on its own animated classic, with novelist/screenwriter Peter Hedges (What's Eating Gilbert Grape, About a Boy) doing the writing duties.

With Pinocchios popping up everywhere, are you glad PTA is hammering out a new screenplay for Warner's Pinocchio project, or should the little wooden boy simply be left alone?

(Via Geek Tyrant)