Fox Buys Pinocchio Prequel For Shawn Levy

EXCLUSIVE: The spec script went out last night and the mid against high 6-figure deal just closed. Century Fox acquired The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto for Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps. He’s attached to direct the screenplay by Michael Vukadinovich. 21 Laps execs Dan Cohen and Billy Rosenberg brought in the script that’s a prequel to the story of Pinocchio. Geppetto endures a life of misfortune, war and adventure all to be with Julia Moon, his true love. The sweep is reminiscent of Big Fish or The Princess Bride and it creates a fresh way into the Pinocchio story at a time when revisionist fairy tales are dominating the movie landscape. Warner Bros last year set up a live action Pinocchio film that has the interest of Tim Burton.

It gives Fox another project with Levy, who most recently directed Real Steel, which opened as last weekend’s top grossing film for DreamWorks. Levy’s now producing the Akiva Schaffer-directed Neighborhood Watch with Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill, and he’s expected to next direct the Max Landis-scripted Frankenstein for Fox. Levy’s 21 Laps TV division just debuted the Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing to big ratings Tuesday night. The deal is the first big spec sold by Vukadinovich, who wrote the indie comedy Pete & Goat, which has Mark Palansky attached to direct with Ahmet Zappa and Dan Dubiecki producing, and Anton Yelchin and Amanda Seyfried attached. He also wrote Do Over, a script for Andrew Adamson’s Strange Weather Films. He’s repped by ICM.

Comments (17)

  • We already had a modern day Pinocchio film. It was called A.I and is criminally underrated.

    Comment by Adam — Friday October 14, 2011 @ 3:55pm PDT  
    • Here, here!

      Comment by Kuuuuuubrick — Saturday October 15, 2011 @ 7:00am PDT  
  • Money talks and creativity walks with Shawn now as the recent choices are very suspect.

    Comment by CaptainLashout — Friday October 14, 2011 @ 4:26pm PDT  
  • With all do respect and a fan of Tim Allen…”Last Msn Standing” was simply awful…awful…of couse it would get premier 1st time ratings… they tuned into see Tim and were given garbage..and he owes them an apology…get rid of your “yes” men Tim and your ego….The kids didn’t even look like they could belong to that fsmily!, and worst of all,after wasting Nancy Travis…it wasn’t funny! is this the type of crap Shawn wants his name on…please,he just took the money and ran.

    Comment by my thoughts — Friday October 14, 2011 @ 4:45pm PDT  
  • A prequel to the story of Pinocchio? This is insane!
    It got fiasco written all over it!

    Comment by Carlo Collodi — Friday October 14, 2011 @ 4:54pm PDT  
  • its a beautiful script.

    Comment by good script — Friday October 14, 2011 @ 5:44pm PDT  
  • just read this script and it’s AMAZING. This will be such a beautiful film.

    Comment by loved it — Friday October 14, 2011 @ 6:46pm PDT  
    • “AMAZING”! Really? The parting of the Red Sea was probably amazing. That man has walked on the moon is amazing. The power of earthquakes and tsunamis is amazing. But a half-baked script piggy-backing on a long existing story and hoping for even the whiff of a connection to another’s classic animated feature? No, not amazing.

      Comment by burrrbank — Friday October 14, 2011 @ 7:01pm PDT  
      • Bitter, party of 1… your table is ready. Why don’t you read it first then comment.

        Comment by must be cold in burbank — Friday October 14, 2011 @ 7:09pm PDT  
      • Well said. Derivative and underwhelming.

        Comment by labroa — Friday October 14, 2011 @ 9:27pm PDT  
    • The script may be everything you say that it is. The scenes may float above the immaculate script pages held there by a choir of angels. Bully for you. But that does not mean the end product will be anywhere near as good, or get people to pay to park the butts in a seat for two hours. If you know anything about Hollywood,you know what can happen between script and film can (or hard drive, as the case may be.)
      Referencing how gorgeous the script is may work for some people (who may or may not have read it, and who may be or not be its author.) Unless everything else goes as “perfect” as the script goes (unlikely) you can still wind up with a bomb. Does a certain “western” with Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig ring any bells?
      I must admit, my gut reaction to any sort of sequel, or whatever you may call it was: Why? and that is still my gut feeling. I have a feeling that unless somebody comes up with a good way to sell this flick, a lot of the movie going public is going to make an assumption (Naturally) and ask the same question.
      Full disclosure: I was close friends and in the same business for many years as the folks who made the 1940 Disney film, so my own opinions carry a bit of a slant in this regard. Best of luck, you’re going to need it.

      Comment by Roci — Monday October 17, 2011 @ 2:58am PDT  
  • It was a delightful and – yes! – original script (you’d have to actually have read it to know), but I’m not sure it’s a viable movie (and if you read the script you’d know that too).

    Comment by Wonk — Friday October 14, 2011 @ 9:59pm PDT  
  • With all due respect, writer’s agent, to call it an original script is just patently ridiculous when it says Pinocchio prequel. You’re not insulting intelligence, your making a fool of yourself. Shill for your client and say it’s a nice script, but don’t say it’s original unless it’s about real people doing real things.

    Comment by dj — Friday October 14, 2011 @ 10:38pm PDT  
    • Why don’t you actually read it before you decide whether it’s “original” or not. I haven’t read anything like it in years, and as produced films go it’s perhaps closest to Big Fish – which is hardly the standard Hollywood paradigm. That it’s so fresh, different, and yes “original” is one of the main reasons why I don’t think it will actually be successful as a feature film. But I hope I’m wrong.

      Comment by Wonk — Saturday October 15, 2011 @ 10:02am PDT  
      • You sound like the writer of the script. If you are, I googled you.

        Dude, your self-promotion is ridiculous. You list every minor play and award you have fun. Well, guess what — we’ve all had the same resume, except now you’re swimming in a bigger pond. Get rid of your little bios that you wrote on festival applications, because you’re a writer like many of us. You’re not working on science or math, the way true innovators are. You’ve written some plays no one has ever heard of, and now you’ve written a Pinocchio prequel that Shawn Levy is directing, yet trying to pass yourself off as anything but derivative.

        That said, I bet it does read very well, and I’m happy for your success. I will see the movie opening night, and I expect it to do well. Enjoy, celebrate with your family and friends, just lose the ridiculous bio.

        Comment by dl — Saturday October 15, 2011 @ 8:28pm PDT  
        • Damn, you found me out!

          Comment by Phineas T. Wonk — Sunday October 16, 2011 @ 8:07pm PDT  
  • The action culminates in a steamy sex scene between Gepetto and Burgermeister Meisterburger. Suffice it to say that Pinocchio’s nose isn’t the only thing getting longer in this movie.

    Comment by Goob — Saturday October 15, 2011 @ 8:26am PDT  
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