Disney’s “Pinocchio” Loses “Paddington” Helmer

Paul King, the helmer of the beloved “Paddington” films, signed on to direct Disney’s live-action adaptation of “Pinocchio” last year. Now it has been revealed that he has left the project entirely.

Sam Mendes was originally on board to direct, but he left a few months later. King came on in early 2018 and his attachment to both this and a young “Willy Wonka” movie at Warners meant he likely wouldn’t return for a third “Paddington”.

That’s changed now as cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, speaking with Discussing Film, revealed King’s departure: “The director basically pulled out of the film, for um, family reasons. Disney are trying to find a new director, but yeah, I read those reports that Tom Hanks and all those other people, but yeah, they’re trying to get it going.”

The project has been in development since 2015 but hasn’t made much progress. It is also in a race with a more adult-oriented and fascist-themed 1930s Italy-set stop motion animated version of the story which Guillermo del Toro is doing for Netflix.