While it’s far from a done deal, such a casting choice could mean Papa Hanks as Papa Geppetto.
In the lauded 1940 animated original, Italian woodcarver Geppetto loves the wooden puppet he’s carved, and wishes upon a star that it becomes a real boy (it’s basically a movie about a lonely old man who wants nothing more than to have a child). Pinocchio comes to life, but learns he has to prove himself to turn into a human. A cricket tries to help out, Pinocchio’s nose grows every time he lies, and Geppetto ends up inside of a whale. Very dramatic stuff.
Paul King of the Paddington movies will direct the remake, with the screenwriter credit unclear, Collider reported. The outlet added the the movie is expected to start production in the summer.
The news comes as Hanks has been working on a biopic about beloved children’s TV icon Mister Rogers (America’s teacher!). The “Untitled Mr. Rogers/ Tom Hanks Project,” as it’s labeled by TriStar Pictures, is based on journalist Tom Junod’s Esquire profile of Rogers and will be released in October 2019.
Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”) and Susan Kelechi Watson (“This Is Us”) also star in the Mister Rogers movie.
Hanks clearly has range — from playing a ship captain facing peril to a stranded man who befriends a volleyball — but there’s something very reassuring about one of the most likable working actors today only playing lovable characters.
How about Marlin, the dad fish in “Finding Nemo,” in a live-action remake? Or George Bailey in a “It’s a Wonderful Life” remake? Atticus Finch?
“America is feeling a little nervous these days, and I’m a responsible father,” Hanks said on SNL in 2016. “So I thought maybe it’s time we had a little chat.”
Forget the chat, Hanks. Just take nice movie roles.