Sam Mendes Exits Pinocchio Movie

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November 14, 2017 | 6:54pm EST

Sam Mendes has dropped out of directing the live-action remake of Pinocchio.
The Skyfall filmmaker signed on to take charge of the classic Disney project earlier this year, but he has since backed out of the gig due to undisclosed reasons, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
This isn’t the first Disney movie Mendes has exited – he was previously in talks to direct James and the Giant Peach, but he pulled out of that film to work on Pinocchio.
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.
A new director has yet to be appointed.
Disney’s live-action remakes have become a big box office draw in recent years, with Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella kicking off the trend in 2015, which starred Lily James as the title princess. The studio’s Maleficent also fared well the year before, telling the story of Sleeping Beauty from the titular villain’s perspective. Angelina Jolie has signed on to reprise her role as Maleficent for a sequel, although shooting has yet to start.
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 upon its release last year.
Also in the works is Dumbo, with Tim Burton confirmed as director and a cast that includes Eva Green, Colin Farrell and Michael Keaton, while the casting for The Lion King was recently announced, with Donald Glover voicing Simba and Beyonce taking on the role of Nala.

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