Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been tapped to voice Jiminy Cricket in Disney‘s live-action Pinocchio movie, while Cynthia Erivo is set to play the Blue Fairy.
Robert Zemeckis is directing the film, which stars Tom Hanks as Geppetto, the kindly old man who creates Pinocchio, who will be voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth (Flora and Ulysses). The Blue Fairy is a magical being who fulfills Geppetto’s wish and transforms Pinocchio into a real boy before accompanying him and Jiminy Cricket on some of their adventures.
Elsewhere, Keegan-Michael Key (Toy Story 4) has signed on to voice Honest John, while Oscar-nominated actress Lorraine Bracco (Goodfellas) will lend her gravelly voice to the new character of Sofia the Seagull. Disney‘s Beauty and the Beast star Luke Evans will play the Coachman.
Zemeckis will direct from a script he co-wrote with Chris Weitz, and the Oscar-winning filmmaker will combine live-action with state-of-the-art visual effects. Weitz and his longtime partner Andrew Miano will produce Pinocchio via their Depth of Field banner along with Zemeckis‘ company Imagemovers. Production is slated to start next month in the U.K. and the film is expected to debut on Disney+ sometime next year.
Gordon-Levitt is perfectly cast here, as he gives off Big Jiminy Cricket Energy, and I love that Erivo has been cast as the Blue Fairy, who is depicted as white and blonde in Disney‘s 1940 animated movie. There’s simply no reason that the Blue Fairy can’t be Black, so I applaud the studio’s effort to diversify the cast.
Erivo is coming off a pair of Oscar nominations for Harriet, and she was last seen in The Outsider on HBO, whereas Gordon-Levitt recently starred in a pair of Netflix movies — Project Power and the streamer’s Oscar contender The Trial of the Chicago 7. Both actors also have new TV shows on the way, as Gordon-Levitt stars in the Apple TV+ series Mr. Corman, while Erivo plays Aretha Franklin in NatGeo‘s Genius. TheWrap broke the news of her casting.