Paul Thomas Anderson Will Write Robert Downey Jr.’s ‘Pinocchio’ Because the World Is a Mysterious Place
We do not understand the mysteries of the universe. With every breakthrough comes the revelation that we know less than we thought we did. Our plane of existence is beset on all sides by things we cannot comprehend, ideas we can barely grasp, and riddles whose answers lie in another time or dimension.
The report comes from The Hollywood Reporter and it makes basic logical sense. Downey and Anderson are friends and they came very close to collaborating on Inherent Vice (Joaquin Phoenix filled in after Downey’s Avengers duties took priority). Live-action remakes of famous fairy tales are all the rage right now (see Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella, and upcoming takes on The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast). Anderson could probably use a nice paycheck after his last two movies earned rave reviews but little money. So yeah, it does kinda sorta make sense.
But it also totally doesn’t make any sense. Because a live-action movie where Robert Downey Jr. plays Gepetto and his puppet child (thanks, motion capture) sounds too weird to comprehend. The hiring of Anderson, an arthouse favorite known for Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, and The Master, makes that weirdness seem even more pronounced. Here’s a filmmaker who has proudly marched to the beat of his own drummer for 20 years, finally attaching himself to a big, studio blockbuster. And it’s a damn Pinocchio movie.
To be fair, Pinocchio in its original, unsanitized form features child abduction, slavery, and kids being transformed into jackasses so they can live a short, brutal life of back-breaking labor. So maybe Anderson sees this as a chance to restore that bleakness to what everyone incorrectly remembers as a harmless children’s story. As for why Downey has made this his next passion project ... who the hell knows. He likes puppets, maybe?
This thing has officially gotten too weird not to get made. Hopefully, we’ll hear more soon.