ByBrian Salisbury, writer at
Brian Salisbury

The road to the screen for Warner Brothers' new iteration of Pinocchio has been a journey as strange as...well, a previous journey involving a talking cricket, man-eating whale, and boys turning into donkeys. At one point, was slated to direct with (Iron Man) lined up to play the kindly woodcarver Gepetto. Burton has since departed the project and Downey, Jr. had suggested to Warner Brothers that (Tropic Thunder) should take over directing duties on this version based on the (Hannibal) script with one rewrite by (Kick-Ass). Now it appears, according to Bleeding Cool, that not only is RDJ staying on, he might be playing both Gepetto AND Pinocchio. It is not known whether Pinocchio would be a live-action or motion-captured character. As of now, Stiller has not been formally named as replacement director.

I feel like I'm being pulled back and forth on this project. On the one hand, Robert Downey, Jr. as Gepetto piqued my interest, as did (sad to say) the departure of Tim Burton. I am also intrigued by the Fuller script, which is by all reports, and unsurprising to hear, quite dark. However, the idea of Robert Downey, Jr. playing both Gepetto and Pinocchio sets us up for a creep out factor that could very well rival that of 's portrayal of Pinocchio. Given the stance RDJ has taken against using animation in the film, it's a cinch that Pinocchio will in fact be a mo-cap performance, so depending on how similar they make Pinocchio Downey Jr. to Gepetto Downey Jr., we might be setting up shop directly in the heart of the uncanny valley. I'll reserve full judgement until 1.) this is unconfirmed and/or 2.) we see a single screenshot of how the two versions of RDJ appear on screen. For now, it's not thrilling me.


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