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Disney+'s Pinocchio - What We Know So Far

Disney's live-action "Pinocchio" movie — starring Tom Hanks as Geppetto — has finally gotten a release window. The Mickey Mouse company had an earnings call on Wednesday, November 10, and Disney Chief Financial Officer Kristine McCarthy revealed the plans for "Pinocchio" and other upcoming films (per Decider). 

Hanks will be reuniting with Academy Award-winning director Robert Zemeckis ("Forrest Gump") for Disney's live-action telling of its 1940 animated classic. The movie will once again focus on the relationship between woodcarver Geppetto and his come-to-life puppet creation Pinocchio, with child star Benjamin Evan Ainsworth from the 2021 comedy-adventure flick "Flora and Ulysses" voicing the titular character (per Deadline). 

"Pinnochio" was originally slated for a theatrical release, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused Disney execs to move it and several other films — including "Peter Pan" and "Cruella" — to a Disney+ premiere date. During its earnings call on Wednesday, Disney executives explained when exactly they thought "Pinocchio" would finally become available for streaming, along with other tidbits about the hotly-anticipated re-telling. Here's everything we know so far.

What is the release date of Pinocchio?

On Wednesday, studio execs confirmed that "Pinocchio" is expected to air on Disney+ sometime between July and September 2022, Collider reports. Since 2015, there have been talks of a live-action "Pinocchio" movie coming to fruition in Hollywood. Tom Hanks was named as one of the stars super early on, with reports emerging in 2018 of his involvement. But development for "Pinocchio" fizzled out, and the film wasn't discussed again until 2020, when it was announced that Hanks had officially signed on to team up with Robert Zemeckis (via Collider). 

It's currently unclear whether "Pinocchio" will be offered on Disney+ for free or with a viewing fee — only that the film will be landing on the streaming platform on Day 1 of its release. According to Deadline, direct-to-consumer premieres have proved extremely fruitful for Disney during the pandemic, with the numbers growing by 41% last year and subscriptions rising to over 73 million. 

Who is in the cast of Pinocchio?

Like most Disney re-tellings, "Pinocchio" is set to feature an all-star cast led by Tom Hanks and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth. Many roles are still being delved out by studio executives, but casting reports from Deadline have helped provide a good idea of what to expect come next year. 

Oscar nominee and Grammy Award winner Cynthia Erivo ("Harriet") is reportedly playing the iconic Blue Fairy, who helps turn Pinocchio into a real boy. Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be voicing Pinocchio's tiny companion, Jiminy Cricket, who accompanies our tiny wooden protagonist along his cinematic way. Keegan-Michael Key will serve as the voice of Honest John, an anthropomorphic fox and co-villain of the movie. "Beauty and the Beast" star Luke Evans is portraying another big bad — the Coachman — and Lorraine Bracco from "The Sopranos" will be playing a completely new character named Sofia the Seagull.

What is the plot of Pinocchio?

An official synopsis for "Pinocchio" has yet to be announced. But the original 1940 film centered around Pinocchio's quest to become "a real boy" after being given a chance to do so by the Blue Fairy. Only after proving himself to be "brave, truthful, and unselfish" would he be able to achieve this fate. Along the way, Pinocchio is famously forced to avoid telling lies, or his nose will grow. The original movie is still one of the studio's most profitable animated features, with a lifetime gross of over $120 million, Deadline reports. The story is based on the 1883 children's novel "The Adventures of Pinocchio" by Italian writer Carlo Collodi.

Robert Zemeckis reportedly wrote the new "Pinocchio" script with producer Chris Weitz (per Collider), who penned the 2015 live-action reboot of "Cinderella," and production for the film reportedly wrapped up in early 2021. Back in 2002, fellow countryman Roberto Benigni directed and starred in a live-action reimagining of Collodi's fairy tale, also titled "Pinocchio." But the film was a critical disaster and only managed to rake in $41 million at the box office on a $45 million budget (per Box Office Mojo). So it makes sense that Disney wants to right Benigni's live-action wrong. 

More plot details for 2022's "Pinocchio" could be revealed on Friday, November 12, which is Disney+ Day. Loads of information on future Disney projects is expected to come out of the event.