PADDINGTON’s Paul King To Probably Slam-Dunk Live-Action PINOCCHIO

Probably without the cigar-smoking scene.

Paddington director Paul King was only just reported to be helming a Willy Wonka reboot for Warner Bros. That's a big project, but it isn't enough, apparently. Variety reports that King is in talks to direct one of Disney's big live-action adaptations of its animated classics - namely, of 1940's Pinocchio.

Disney has shown no signs of stopping in its quest to render live-action all its animated back catalogue, so Pinocchio was inevitably going to happen. Sam Mendes was attached to direct, for a minute; so were Ron Howard, Tim Burton, and even Paul Thomas Anderson. Jack Thorne (Wonder, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) is writing a new screenplay; it's unclear whether the long-attached Robert Downey Jr is also a still-attached Robert Downey Jr.

A more pertinent question is whether King has the time to do both films (not to mention the third Paddington he's almost certainly to be offered). At this rate, King is picking up projects like a veritable Guillermo del Toro, who was even working on his own, unrelated, now cancelled Pinocchio project for a while. Movies are hard to make, and not everybody can (or should) just leave post-production teams to their devices like Ridley Scott seems to. There may be a fight for King's attention on the horizon.

Whatever project ends up happening first (or at all), at least we can rest assured it'll probably be a solid flick. As with the Wonka reboot, if you've got to do it, it's a strong decision to hire King, whose ability to create family entertainment that's both wholesome and clever should be treated like the rare superpower it is. King ain't no anonymous workman; he's an artist with a style and voice. That's super rare in family cinema, and we're lucky to have him.

Oh yeah: watch the Paddington movies.