Matteo Garrone & Roberto Benigni’s ‘Pinocchio’ Lands U.S. Deal With Roadside

Roadside Attractions has acquired U.S. wide theatrical release rights to Pinocchio, the live-action take on the classic tale from Matteo Garrone and starring Roberto Benigni. The deal was struck with HanWay Films.

No release date set yet in the U.S., but the film was released in December 2019 in its home country Italy and other overseas territories and is carrying a worldwide gross of $20.31 million.

In the pic, the Oscar-winning Benigni (who wrote and directed and played Pinocchio is his own feature film version of the story in 2002) now plays Geppetto, the woodcarver whose puppet creation magically comes to life with dreams of becoming a real boy. Easily led astray, Pinocchio (Federico Ielapi) tumbles from one misadventure to another as he is tricked, kidnapped and chased by bandits through a wonderful world full of imaginative creatures – from the belly of a giant fish to the Land Of Toys and the Field Of Miracles.

Garrone (Dogman, Tale of Tales, Gomorrah) co-wrote the screenplay with Massimo Ceccherini. Garrone also produced via his Archimede along with Le Pacte’s Jean and Ann-Laure Labadie, Recorded Picture Company’s Jeremy Thomas and Rai Cinema’s Paolo Del Brocco. Executive producers are Alessio Lazzareschi, Peter Watson, and Marie-Gabrielle Stewart.

“Pinocchio is one of the most cherished tales, loved by families worldwide,” Roadside co-presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff said Thursday. “We were knocked out by the otherworldly beauty and the ingenious storytelling of Matteo’s film, and are thrilled to bring audiences old and new such a fresh, mischievous and thrilling adventure,”

The deal was negotiated by Cohen and HanWay’s Gabrielle Stewart.

There are two other big-ticket Pinocchio pics also in the works: a stop-motion animated musical at Netflix from Guillermo del Toro and a live-action version at Disney with Robert Zemeckis directing and co-writing.

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