Aladdin's Genie and Sebastian

Even casual Disney fans have likely noticed that the studio’s various animated features often contain subtle nods at each other. Rapunzel from Tangled has Disney fairy tale books in her collection, Nani from Lilo & Stitch has a Mulan poster, et cetera. But what if these aren’t mere sight gags from playful animators. What if, instead, they’re hard evidence that all of these movies take place in the same universe?

In an homage of sorts to Jon Negroni’s The Pixar Theory, Josh Butler posits that 30 of Disney’s animated features share a world. His thesis requires some suspension of disbelief — for one thing, it involves a lot of magic and time travel — but it’s fun to think about nonetheless. Hit the jump to see how Butler’s theory shakes out.

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Robert Downey Jr in The Avengers

There’s still no official word on the potential live action retelling of Pinocchio, but there might be a new wrinkle to the story. To recap, the Warner Bros. project was originally going to be directed by Tim Burton with Robert Downey Jr. set to play wood carver Gepetto. Kick-Ass writer Jane Goldman was hired to rewrite a script by Bryan Fuller and then Burton dropped out. Downey, who viewed this as a real passion project, suggested his Tropic Thunder director Ben Stiller to helm the project and then we heard Stiller was actually in talks. Since then, we haven’t heard anything.

The latest news on the film relates directly to the star. It seems that not only will Downey play Gepetto, he may be playing Pinocchio too. Read More »

Ben-Stiller-and-Robert-Downey-Jr

Briefly: In the big GQ profile of Robert Downey, Jr. that ran a few weeks ago, the actor mentioned the version of Pinocchio that he had been working on with Tim Burton set to direct. Downey pitched the idea to Warner Bros. (his first pitch, he said!) and positioned it as a high priority for him. In another interview, Downey suggested that Burton had fallen away, and that Ben Stiller had become his choice to sit in the director’s chair.

Now Deadlne has confirmed that Stiller is in talks to direct the movie. Downey’s a pretty powerful guy right now, and with his career in a state of semi-free agency thanks to the end of his Marvel contract, one would guess that he can get just about whatever he wants, so it’s not surprising to hear that this is in motion. Stiller and Downey have a working history as well, thanks to Tropic Thunder. And with footage from Ben Stiller’s new film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty drawing raves and early Oscar predictions after debuting at CinemaCon, he’s in a good place as well.

Jane Goldman wrote one draft of Pinocchio; but now the film will go in a new direction with a new writer.

Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr

Tim Burton and Robert Downey Jr. have been linked to Warner Bros.’ live-action Pinocchio since early last year — in fact, Downey pitched the movie to the studio — but during the fall the director admitted that he was starting to doubt the film would ever get made. Now it appears Pinocchio is, in fact, moving forward, and there’s reason to think it will be without Burton.

Italian publications have quoted Downey as saying that he hopes Ben Stiller will direct the film. The pair previously worked together on 2008′s Tropic Thunder. Hit the jump for more info.

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Guillermo del Toro always has a big handful of projects in various stages of development. That means, unfortunately, that as certain things come to the fore, others fall away. Sometimes they’re due to his commitments to projects such as Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak. Others might go away due to various forces in the entertainment industry that help and hurt projects as part of the normal run of things. Seems line one particular animated film has fallen prey to those forces.

Over the past couple years we’ve heard about a stop-motion version of Pinocchio that del Toro was developing with The Jim Henson Co., with GDT and Gris Grimly writing and Grimly set to direct. There was concept art and some images of the puppets, and even a planned cast. Tom Waits was lined up to voice Gepetto, which just sounds lovely.

But now it looks like that project is dead, or at least sleeping.  Read More »

While doing press for his latest film, Frankenweenie, Tim Burton said he wasn’t sure if the rumored Pinocchio film he was circling to was going to happen. That was not a lie. However, those chances have just increased as the project has attracted a talented and proven screenwriter.

Jane Goldman, best known for her work alongside Matthew Vaughn on Stardust, Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, is in talks pen the film which has Robert Downey Jr. attached as Geppetto. Bryan Fuller wrote the first draft of the script. Read more after the jump. Read More »

After years of planning, Guillermo Del Toro jump-started his 3D stop-motion animated take on Pinocchio last week when he announced that he’d be co-directing with Mark Gustafson, with production to get underway next summer. Now one of the team’s next steps will be picking out a voice cast.

While no one’s locked in just yet, del Toro said he does have a few names in mind. He revealed that Christopher Walken and Tom Waits were on his wishlist, and let slip that Daniel Radcliffe had already expressed an interest in joining the project. More details after he jump.

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A few years ago Guillermo del Toro started working to produce a stop-motion animated take on Pinocchio. Despite some solid attached talent, like Fantastic Mr. Fox animator Mark Gustafson as co-director with Gus Grimly, whose illustrated take on the story helped spawn the project, this one has taken time to get to the production stage. That’s even with the Jim Henson company behind the development, too.

So, with the number of projects del Toro has started to produce over the past few years stacked against the ones that have actually been finished, I’d understand if anyone took a ‘wait and see’ attitude towards this Pinocchio. Now it might have taken a big step towards a green light, however, as del Toro says that he’ll co-direct the film with Gustafson, with a summer 2013 shoot planned. Read More »

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