Sam Mendes exits Pinocchio movie

Sam Mendes Exits Disney's Live-Action “Pinocchio” (Exclusive) | The Tracking Board

Oscar-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes has dropped out of directing Disney's live-action Pinocchio, the Tracking Board has exclusively learned.

The 52-year-old director - whose last two big screen projects were the James Bond films "Skyfall" and "Spectre" - was attached to the studio's re-imagining of the classic 1940 cartoon, which was Walt Disney's second animated feature film following 1937's acclaimed "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".

Why bring on a new director when Craig's 2019 outing is his fifth and final?

Chris Weitz penned the Pinocchio script, about a wooden puppet who wants to become a real boy, and is also producing the movie through his company Depth of Field. Blade Runner 2049's Denis Villenueve was previously in talks for that project, but he chose to exit to work on a live-action adaptation of Dune.

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2014 blockbuster Maleficent (US$758 million or RM3.2 billion worldwide) told the story of Sleeping Beauty with a focus on its villain, 2015 saw the arrival of Cinderella (US$543 million) with The Jungle Book (US$966 million) and Alice Through The Looking Glass (US$299 million) separated by a single 2016 month.

Meanwhile, Beauty and the Beast, which featured British stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the lead roles, recently became a box office smash, grossing $1.2 billion worldwide, while The Jungle Book took $966.5 million (£734.4 million) upon its release previous year (16).

Disney is now working on several live-action adaptations of several of their properties including Dumbo, The Lion King, and Aladdin.

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