It’s been over 25 years since Tom Hanks won his second Oscar, which he did for Forrest Gump, the once-widely beloved, decades-spanning weepie that now has its fair share of detractors. Another person who nabbed an Academy Award: its director, Robert Zemeckis. The two have reunited every now and then, for Cast Away and the all-CGI The Polar Express. And the boys may get back together yet again, as Deadline is reporting Hanks is in early talks to assume the role of Geppetto, the kindly creator of a living wooden boy in Zemeckis’ take on Pinocchio.
The film, made with Disney, will reportedly be a live-action (that is, presumably, with plenty of CGI) version of the oft-filmed Italian children’s story, about a puppet granted life. The most famous adaptation is the Disney animated version, from 1941, which features untold traumatic moments, from our young hero being locked in a cage to almost being turned into a donkey after too much juvenile boozing.
But the warmest parts involve Geppetto, his creator and father, which Hanks should have zero problem handling. Granted, nothing’s final. In fact, it’s still very larval. All that’s happened, according to a source, is Hanks reached out to Zemeckis after reading the script, “to let him know he wants to do the film.” Sounds like a no-brainer, though.
Carlo Collodi’s novel has been filmed so many times that there have been two separate ones with Roberto Benigni. He directed and starred in one, from 2002, that was, well not well-received. But last year came another Italian version in which he played Geppetto, to warm reviews. Guillermo del Toro is also doing his own, darker version of the tale, with Ewan McGregor as the voice of Jiminy Cricket — a character invented for the Disney toon — and Tilda as the fairy that grants our hero life. Anyway, hope we’re all ready for multiple films that will scar us all.