Ron Howard To Direct Robert Downey Jr.'s 'Pinocchio', Replacing Paul Thomas Anderson

In the works for years, Robert Downey Jr.'s live-action Pinocchio film has attracted a lot of talent. Tim Burton was initially attached to direct the fairy tale, only to drop out and have Ben Stiller briefly eye the project.. Most recently it was Paul Thomas Anderson who intended to direct and write the film, only to have him depart last fall. But Downey Jr. Warner Bros. are intent on making this happen, and now they've landed a new director in Ron Howard.

The Tracking Board reports Howard as being in talks to direct the film, a live-action adaptation of Carlo Collodi's 19th century novel about the puppet, Pinocchio, who wishes to become a real boy. Downey Jr. would play Gepetto as he sets out to find the missing Pinocchio. Multiple writers have tackled the screenplay, including the most recent draft by Bryan Fuller (Hannibal), but it's likely Howard will want to bring in another to take a shot at it.

So this still seems like a long ways off, and who knows what could happen in the meantime. Howard most recently directed the "Moby Dick"-inspired flop, In the Heart of the Sea. His next film is an adaptation of Dan Brown's Inferno, starring Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones.