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Robert Downey Jr. to play Geppetto, produce live-action ‘Pinocchio’

LOS ANGELES — Paul Thomas Anderson is writing the screenplay for Warner Bros. and Team Downey’s “Pinocchio” live-action reimagining.

Although Anderson has only been hired to pen a draft for the script, there’s a possibility that he could direct the movie as well. The director has written few movies without also helming the projects.

“The Giver” scripter Michael Mitnick wrote the most recent draft, and Robert Downey Jr., along with his wife and producing partner Susan Downey, will produce alongside Dan Jinks.

Downey is onboard to play Geppetto in the tale about a wooden puppet who wants to become a human boy. He’s been developing the project for some time, but recently revived interest, given Disney’s surge of live-action retellings of animated classics and fairy tales.

Disney has already struck box office gold with “Alice in Wonderland,” whose sequel “Alice Through the Looking Glass” is slated for 2016; “Maleficent”; and “Cinderella.”

Live-action versions of “Beauty and the Beast,” starring Emma Watson; Jon Favreau-directed “The Jungle Book” (whose all-star voice cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o and Bill Murray); “Mulan”; Tim Burton-helmed “Dumbo”; “Winnie the Pooh”; “Tinker Bell,” with Reese Witherspoon; and “Fantasia” are all in the works. Burton was initially set to direct “Pinocchio.”

Meanwhile, a live-action version of “The Little Mermaid” is in the works at Universal.

“Pinocchio” marks the first project Anderson has worked on since “Inherent Vice,” which earned him an Oscar nom for best adapted screenplay.

He is repped by CAA.

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