Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Ridley Scott Says 'Exodus' Would Never Get Financed Starring "Mohammad So-and-So From Such-And-Such” Ridley Scott Says 'Exodus' Would Never Get Financed Starring "Mohammad So-and-So From Such-And-Such” James Cameron Says 'Avatar' Sequels Will Make You "Sh*t Yourself With Your Mouth Wide Open” James Cameron Says 'Avatar' Sequels Will Make You "Sh*t Yourself With Your Mouth Wide Open” Welcome Back To The Park: The First Trailer For 'Jurassic World' Is Here Welcome Back To The Park: The First Trailer For 'Jurassic World' Is Here Watch: 2-Hour 'Deleted Magic' Explores Deleted Scenes & Alternate Footage From The Original 'Star Wars' Trilogy Watch: 2-Hour 'Deleted Magic' Explores Deleted Scenes & Alternate Footage From The Original 'Star Wars' Trilogy New Character And Plot Details Emerge For 'True Detective' Season 2 As More Cast Members Confirmed New Character And Plot Details Emerge For 'True Detective' Season 2 As More Cast Members Confirmed James Gunn Says Shared Universe Model Is "Flawed," Plus Listen To "Awesome Mixtape Volume Zero" For 'Guardians' James Gunn Says Shared Universe Model Is "Flawed," Plus Listen To "Awesome Mixtape Volume Zero" For 'Guardians' 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination'  Starring Ethan Hawke SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination' Starring Ethan Hawke From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Tim Burton Now Officially Out Of Ideas, Considering Live-Action 'Pinocchio' With Robert Downey Jr. As Geppetto

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist January 6, 2012 at 9:06PM

We are not, by any stretch of the imagination, Tim Burton haters. One very senior Playlist member of staff considers "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" one of the greatest movies ever made. The rest of us have our favorites: "Beetlejuice," "Edward Scissorhands," "Ed Wood," even "Sleepy Hollow." The filmmaker is an extremely talented visualist, and a man with a certain empathy for life's outsiders, which has led to work, over the years, both staggeringly beautiful and moving.
9
Tim Burton Pinocchio

We are not, by any stretch of the imagination, Tim Burton haters. One very senior Playlist member of staff considers "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" one of the greatest movies ever made. The rest of us have our favorites: "Beetlejuice," "Edward Scissorhands," "Ed Wood," even "Sleepy Hollow." The filmmaker is an extremely talented visualist, and a man with a certain empathy for life's outsiders, which has led to work, over the years, both staggeringly beautiful and moving.

Which is why we've been so bummed out by his gradual ossification. Starting, arguably, with "Planet of the Apes" (and possibly even further back – it' s not like "Batman Returns" or "Mars Attacks" were the model of filmmaking restrain), Burton's shrunk into his comfort zone, tackling only the kind of projects that could be described even before he signs on as 'Burton-esque,' masterclasses in production and costume design, which are mostly empty of anything else, reaching an apex with 2010's miserable, hollow "Alice in Wonderland."

We're fearful, but ever hopeful, of this year's "Dark Shadows" and "Frankenweenie," neither of which immediately show a desire to do anything new or exciting, and we can't help but feel that his further-off projects are just as disappointing. Already attached to Jane Goldman's adaptation of bestselling novel "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children," a title that reads like an "Entourage" parody of a Tim Burton movie, Burton is, according to Heat Vision, closing on another live-action take on a fairy tale; in this case a version of "Pinocchio" set up at Warner Bros.

There are in fact a trio of films about the little wooden puppet who wanted to be a real boy in development – Guillermo del Toro has been working on a stop-motion animated take with music by Nick Cave, while "Real Steel" helmer Shawn Levy is attached to direct a prequel, "The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto," over at Fox. But WB's take, to be produced by Dan Jinks ("American Beauty," "Milk"), has a big head start, as it's attracted the attention of Burton, who in turn wants one of the biggest stars of the moment, Robert Downey Jr., to star as woodcarver Geppetto, the creator of L'il Pinocchio. 

It's not entirely surprising; while Downey Jr. might feel miscast in the part, he's likely studios' first or second suggestion for any vaguely quirky part going, and Warners, who've taken him to major hits in the "Sherlock Holmes" franchise, would undoubtedly be keen to have him. And the interest appears to be mutual, although apparently dependent on working out a schedule – Downey Jr. will shoot "Iron Man 3" soon and has another half-dozen projects in development.

Right now, it seems that Warners are prioritizing getting their film made before the competition, with the trade suggesting that, if Burton chooses to make 'Miss Peregrine' first, they won't wait for him, or Downey Jr. (who previously flirted with, but bailed on, another reboot of a classic tale, Sam Raimi's "Oz: The Great and Powerful").

We're being pretty cynical here, and to be fair, there's one big reason for optimism as the script comes from Bryan Fuller, a TV veteran who was behind the likes of "Wonderfalls" and "Pushing Daisies," here making his big screen debut. The screenplay's been praised by those who've read it, and the fact that it exists puts it one up on 'Miss Peregrine,' which is still in progress, so should Downey Jr. sign on, this could move ahead swiftly as Burton's project. We just hope our worst fears about it don't come true. In the meantime, Burton's "Dark Shadows" hits on May 11, with "Frankenweenie" following on October 5. 

This article is related to: Tim Burton, Robert Downey Jr., Pinocchio, Warner Bros


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates