The cast for Netflix’s upcoming Pinocchio film is here, and sadly, Tom Hanks will not be playing Geppetto.
The streaming service announced that relative newcomer Gregory Mann (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) will play the titular role, while Ewan McGregor will play Cricket and David Bradley — who played Argus Filch in the Harry Potter films — will play Gepetto.
The story centres on a wood-carver (Geppetto) who has longed to be a father. To get the next best thing, he carves a wooden puppet (Pinocchio) of a young boy, who is then brought to life by a fairy.
She tells Pinocchio that he will become a real boy if he proves himself to be “brave, truthful, and unselfish.” Of course, Gepetto is thrilled, however, the carver and his puppet pair into a string of problems.
The film will be directed by Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro and in a statement, he said that this was a “dream project”.
“After years of pursuing this dream project, I found my perfect partner in Netflix,” the director said in a statement.
“We have spent a long time curating a remarkable cast and crew and have been blessed by continuous support from Netflix to quietly and carefully soldier on, barely missing a beat.”
Other cast members are said to include Cate Blanchett, Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton, Finn Wolfhard, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson and Ron Perlman.
On August 6, in what was the most magical of murmurings, it was revealed that Tom Hanks was in talks to play Geppetto in a live-action Disney remake of Pinocchio.
While there is a Netflix project in the works, it doesn’t mean that the Disney one will cease to go ahead with the live-action remake.
Originally, we learned that Robert Zemickis — who also directed Back to the Future — was on board to direct after huge success with animated classics Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. He will be joined by writer Chris Weitz (About A Boy).
If you’ve seen the original animation, you’ll know that the casting of Hanks is absolutely perfect.
In one of his most recent films, A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, Hanks played Mr Fred Rogers, a real-life American television personality who starred in Mr Rogers’ Neighbourhood from 1968 to 2001.
Hanks’ soft nature, calming voice and ability to resonate with children, is much like the beloved Mr Rogers and also highlights the same temperament that Geppetto in the original 1940 film.
One thing we’re a little nervous about — no matter if its the Netflix or Disney version — is how they will portray the giant whale scene — something that has easily scarred us for life.