Luke Evans Pinocchio

Remember The Coachman from 1940’s Pinocchio? Forgive me, of course you do – it’s a silly question, because no one could possibly forget him. Well, according to a new report, Luke Evans, who embodied the blustery Gaston in Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast and is reprising that role in a Disney+ spin-off, is now set to play a hot new version of The Coachman in Robert Zemeckis‘ remake of Pinocchio. And though you surely don’t need a reminder about who that character is or how he’s involved with the story, I’ll give you one anyway below.

I haven’t seen Pinocchio since I was probably eight years old, so when Deadline reported this afternoon that Luke Evans will be playing The Coachman in the upcoming Pinocchio movie for Disney+, I straight up did not remember who that character was. Thankfully, the Disney Wiki gave me all the information I could ever want about him, including this gem of a sentence:

“The Coachman is one of the most evil, malevolent, hateful, cruel, sinister, and dangerous Disney Villains with absolutely no redeeming qualities, and is rather infamous for his wicked actions, greed and his pleasure in destroying children’s lives.”

In the 1940 animated film, The Coachman is depicted as an obese man with blonde hair who lures children to Pleasure Island and sells them into slavery. Disney has found a more conventionally attractive person to play the role in live-action – and knowing the way Disney has been working over the past few years, it seems likely that we’ll be learning much more about this version of the character than we ever knew about the animated one. The 1940 movie is only an hour and 28 minutes long, and the live-action Disney remakes have so far been dominated by bloat, stretching the stories to unnecessary lengths and frequently making the stories worse in the process.

Will Pinocchio suffer the same fate? We’ll see. Robert Zemeckis is directing, and he’s co-writing the script with Chris Weitz, who wrote the 2015 Cinderella remake starring Lily James and was one of the writers of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Weitz will produce with Andrew Miano, and Tom Hanks is starring as Geppetto, the kindly old woodcarver and creator of a Pinocchio puppet who is brought to life.

Evans, who is generally pretty fun to watch, certainly has a lot to dig into with this role. I, for one, hope that this scene is recreated in meticulous detail (especially the part where The Coachman’s face puffs up and turns devilish):

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