Tom Hanks in talks to play Geppetto in live-action Pinocchio

The actor was asked to play the woodcarver when Paul King was directing the project.

Tom Hanks is in early negotiations to play Geppetto in Disney and director Robert Zemeckis' live-action Pinocchio remake.

The Oscar-winning actor was originally approached by Disney bosses to play the woodcarver, whose wish brings the titular wooden puppet to life, when Paul King was attached to direct, but he declined the role.

However, Hanks reached out to Zemeckis after reading the script, and let the filmmaker know that he was interested in the movie, according to Deadline.

The duo have a long-standing working relationship, after they both won Oscars for their work on 1994 comedy drama Forrest Gump, before reuniting on Cast Away in 2000, and animated Christmas adventure The Polar Express in 2004.

Zemeckis will direct Pinocchio, with Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz producing, and Weitz and Zemeckis penning the script.

The Disney animated classic, which was released in 1940, tells the tale of a wooden puppet who, with the help of tenacious insect Jiminy Cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to the Blue Fairy in order to become a real boy.

Next up for Hanks will be Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic, in which the actor will portray the music icon's manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

The 64-year-old was in Australia preparing for the shoot in March, when he and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for Covid-19, and after production was shut down, filming is now scheduled to resume this autumn.

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