'Pinocchio': Tom Hanks Says Live-Action Remake 'Goes Deeper Into This Great Masterpiece' (Exclusive)

ET has an exclusive featurette celebrating the upcoming live-action adaptation of the classic movie.

Over 80 years after the animated film became a childhood classic, Pinocchio is back and now being told in a live-action adaptation starring Tom Hanks, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Cynthia Erivo, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Keegan-Michael Key, Lorraine Bracco and Luke Evans. With just 10 days to go until Disney+ Day, ET has an exclusive featurette, with the cast teasing an all-new magical movie experience to come. 

“The idea of taking on a treasured classic, as Disney’s Pinocchio, it’s an incredibly rich opportunity to revisit and go deeper into this great masterpiece,” says Hanks, who plays Geppetto, the woodcarver and toymaker responsible for creating the titular wooden puppet, who dreams of becoming a real boy.

“It’s a really special story that encourages people to wish and to dream,” says Erivo, who appears as the Blue Fairy, who first brings Geppetto’s creation to life. 

In this film, Pinocchio is voiced by Ainsworth while Gordon-Levitt lends his vocal talents to Jiminy Cricket, the insect who acts as the toy’s conscience. Additionally, Evans, starring in his second live-action Disney adaptation after Beauty and the Beast, plays Coachman, the villainous owner of Pleasure Island, while Key voices a cunning fox named John Worthington Foulfellow. Bracco joins the cast as the voice of a new character, Sofia the Seagull. 

Rounding out the cast are Kyanne Lamaya as Fabiana (and her marionette Sabina), Giuseppe Battiston as the greedy puppeteer Señor Stromboli and Lewin Lloyd as a naughty boy named Lampwick.  

“It’s a wonderful journey full of excitement, wonder, danger. Everything’s larger than life,” says Evans, who adds that “taking a story like Pinocchio and turning it into a live-action film is no mean feat… “It’s just an honor to be bringing it to a new generation.”

The person responsible for bringing the story to life for a new generation of fans is Robert Zemeckis, who co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Weitz and directed the new movie. The Oscar-winning filmmaker previously helmed the Disney classic, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and has worked with Hanks a number of times before reuniting again here.  

“Bob is one of these filmmakers who takes you to places beyond your expectation,” Hanks says, while Gordon-Levitt, who also worked with Zemeckis, adds, “Pairing Robert Zemeckis with Pinocchio, that’s sort of a match made in heaven.” 

“I think every audience wishes to be transported. That’s the magic of cinema,” Hanks says. “Great movies last forever. That’s one of the things Pinocchio delivers.” 

Pinocchio debuts Thursday, Sept. 8 on Disney+ as part of the platform’s celebration of Disney+ Day.