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Pinocchio Director Robert Zemeckis Explains Differences Between Live-Action & Animated Versions

Robert Zemeckis is the director of the upcoming live-action Pinocchio movie, which will premiere on Disney+ Hotstar on 8 September 2022. Tom Hanks stars as?Geppetto, the woodcarver who builds and treats Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) as if he were his real son. Joseph Gordon-Levitt?is?Jiminy Cricket, who serves as Pinocchio’s guide as well as his “conscience”; Cynthia Erivo is the Blue Fairy; Keegan-Michael Key?is?”Honest” John; Lorraine Bracco is Sofia the Seagull, a new character, and Luke Evans?is?The Coachman.

The screenplay for “Pinocchio” was written by Robert Zemeckis & Chris Weitz. The film’s producers are Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, Robert Zemeckis and Derek Hogue. The executive producers are Jack Rapke, Jacqueline Levine, Jeremy Johns and Paul Weitz.

Zemeckis previously won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Director’s Guild of American Award for Best Director for Forrest Gump. The film’s numerous honours also included a Best Picture Oscar and for Tom Hanks, a Best Actor Oscar. Early in his career, he co-wrote with Bob Gale and directed Back to the Future, which was the top-grossing release of 1985, and for which Zemeckis shared Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Screenplay. He then went on to helm Back to the Future, Part II and Part III, completing one of the most successful film franchises in motion picture history.

He also directed Who Framed Roger Rabbit, cleverly blending live action and animation in a feature film, resulting in a worldwide box office smash. Zemeckis re-teamed with Hanks directing and producing the contemporary drama “Cast Away” which opened to critical and audience acclaim.

He directed and produced Contact, starring Jodie Foster, based on the best-selling novel by Carl Sagan. He also co-wrote and directed the motion capture film The Polar Express, starring Tom Hanks as a charming train conductor taking children on a magical adventure to the North Pole. He also produced and directed his second motion capture film, Beowulf, which starred Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie, based on one of the oldest surviving pieces of Anglo-Saxon literature, written before the 10th Century A.D. He released another advanced motion-capture film: A Christmas Carol, based on the celebrated and beloved classic story by Charles Dickens which he both wrote and directed for Disney Studios.

Speaking with Disney+ Hotstar, Zemeckis explains the differences between his live-action version and the original 1940 Disney animated movie.

He said:

The original animated film is a vast departure from the source material. We use the Disney version as a template and an outline for our story. It follows pretty much the same adventure that Pinocchio follows in the animated version. We modernize the storytelling because there was a different sort of pacing in movies 60 years ago than there is now.

There’s also some ambiguity. We’re not telling the audience what they have to feel or what they have to think. Audiences are way more sophisticated, and they don’t want to be spoon fed. They want to be able to think for themselves. We added some characters, but basically kept the spirit and the tone and the theme of the first movie.

Zemeckis also confirmed that there will be four original songs in the upcoming movie. About those, he said:

We went through the process of doing what you do whenever you’re going to make a musical. When we were writing the script, there were places where we said, ‘Hey, why don’t we do a song there?’

And the composers came up with places where they got an idea for a song. We just kind of went back and forth. What songs do best in musicals is shore up the emotional growth of a character or help express what a character is feeling at any given moment. So that’s what we did with the songs.

In the meantime, check out the trailer for Pinocchio below:

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