Robert Downey Jr. to Play Dual Role in Ben Stiller's 'Pinocchio'

Whether we really need another Pinocchio adaptation is up in the air, or two or three as are currently in the planning stages, Disney does seem to be moving forward with a version of their own. They've been in the business lately of developing live-action versions of some of their great animated classics, and their 1940 Pinocchio certainly qualifies. Tim Burton had been set to direct it in the beginning, but recently it was Ben Stiller who became attached to direct, mostly through the urging of star Robert Downey Jr., who was set to play Gepetto. But it sounds like Downey, who obviously has a significant amount of control already, is going to more involved on camera than initially thought.

A story over at Bleeding Cool reports that Downey will not only be playing the kindly old woodcarver Gepetto, but will also take on the role of Pinocchio. It's unclear at this point whether it will be done in performance capture or if Downey will merely provide voice work, but either way it's an interesting move that will set this version of Pinocchio apart even further. The script was initially written by Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies), and was recently given a rewrite by Jane Goldman (The Woman in Black). It's said to be fairly ambitious, with new material developed that would be much darker, in keeping with the tone someone like Burton would have appreciated.

The project is still set up at Warner Bros., and we'll hopefully learn more on its progress soon.