20th Century Fox Looking to Make Pinocchio Prequel with Shawn Levy

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The whole sequel/prequel craze in Hollywood has gotten out of hand, and there’s no better proof than this. Deadline reports that 20th Century Fox has bought a spec script for a Pinocchio prequel called The Three Misfortunes of Gepetto. The spec focuses on the puppetmaster’s life and more importantly his pursuit of his one true love, Julia Moon. If any of this is ringing a bell, let me know because I don’t remember the Pinocchio story very well. Shawn Levy, whose company 21 Laps will be producing, is attached to direct and Michael Vukadinovich will be turning his spec into a full-length screenplay.

Levy is notorious in film geek circles for being a hack director with no vision; I guess when you’re responsible for the Night at the Museum movies you’re pretty much setting yourself up for scorn. But say what you will, the man is successful and his movies make money; in fact his last directorial effort, Real Steel, ran away with the box office last weekend. Before he directs The Three Misfortunes of Gepetto however, Levy has a Frankenstein adaptation to tackle. I could feel you shudder with disgust, TMP readers, but bear this in mind: he used to direct episodes of Nickelodeon’s The Secret World of Alex Mack and for that reason alone you should give him the benefit of the doubt. Unless you haven’t seen that show, which is entirely possible because you have a social life.

I’m not sure the world is dying for a Gepetto movie, but that’s the climate the movie business has turned into; anything with name value is essentially a done deal. As a quasi-fan of Shawn Levy’s stuff (I’ll defend the second Night at the Museum movie until you punch me in the face), I’ll definitely check it out. Plus, again, the dude directed Alex Mack episodes (as well as The Famous Jett Jackson and So Weird for Disney, in case you’re a loser like me and were obsessed with those shows) so give him some credit. Just a little. Like a smidge.

What do you think of a Pinocchio prequel? Does Gepetto warrant his own movie?