Following the big screen success of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Maleficent, Disney has been focused on giving some of its most popular animated tales a live-action makeover. One of the films coming our way as part of this new approach is a modern retelling of Pinocchio.

Back in May, it was revealed that Sam Mendes (Skyfall, Spectre) was in early talks to direct the movie, with a script from Chris Weitz (Rogue One). The film went quiet after the news, but people were excited and couldn't wait to see what Mendes would bring to the piece. Unfortunately, the film just suffered a setback.

Sam Mendes Has Quit Pinocchio

'Pinocchio' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Pinocchio' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

Sad news, fellow Disney geeks, Sam Mendes has stepped away from Pinocchio, according to The Hollywood Reporter. No explanation was given for this news, but The Tracking Board assured that Mendes's departure wasn't related to the upcoming Bond 25, a project many fans have linked the director to.

Now, while Mendes's exit wasn't explained, the new development isn't entirely surprising. When it was first revealed that he was in the running to helm the film, Variety stated the director wasn't fully committed to the project, and he had been having troubles meeting with Disney due to his play, The Ferryman.

Curiously, this isn't the first time Mendes has parted ways with a live-action Disney project. Initially, he was attached to direct James and the Giant Peach, but ultimately decided to ditch the project in favor of the lying-prone marionette.

[Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
[Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

Don't Worry, This Likely Won't Be A Major Issue For Pinocchio

You're probably wondering whether Mendes quitting is a bad sign for Pinocchio . Thankfully, it isn't. First, we have to take into account that the film has had a considerably slower development process when compared to other projects in Disney's pipeline like Aladdin, The Lion King or Mulan.

It doesn't even have a release date yet, so the House of the Mouse probably has plenty of time to find a replacement to get things going. Fortunately for Disney, with how smoothly its new slate of live-action adaptations has been running, it shouldn't have trouble finding a new helmer for Pinocchio.

Since Pinocchio still doesn't have a release date, we'll have to wait to see what other developments come out in the next few months.

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)