Paddington director in talks for Disney's live action Pinocchio

Paddington director in talks for Disney's live action Pinocchio

'Paddington' director Paul King is in talks to direct Disney's live action remake of 'Pinocchio'.

After thrilling audiences with two instalments of the movie based on the fictional talking bear, Variety reports that the filmmaker is the leading choice to helm the re-imagining of the classic 1940 cartoon, after Bond director Sam Mendes pulled out.

It comes after King - who is married to Eloise Moody - was reported to be in talks to direct 'Willy Wonka'.

Sources told The Tracking Board that 'Spectre' helmer Mendes stepped away from production for unknown reasons.

'Pinocchio' follows the story of lonely and impoverished woodworker Geppetto who makes himself a wooden marionette puppet, who is brought to life by the Blue Fairy, and is given the chance to become a real boy if he proves himself to be brave, truthful and unselfish.

In Disney's version, he is assigned a miniature friend, Jiminy Cricket, to act as his moral conscience.

The original was based on Italian writer Carlo Collodi's 1883 book 'The Adventures of Pinocchio'.

The film went on to become the first animation to win an Academy Award; scooping two Oscars for Best Music, Original Score and for Best Music, Original Song for 'When You Wish Upon A Star', which has become a beloved anthem for Disney and is played at all of the company's theme parks.

The studio has been working on recreating the tale as a live action film for many years, and already have a script from Chris Weitz who is also on board as a producer.

As well as the new Disney version, Guillermo del Toro and Robert Downey Jr. and Ben Stiller were reported to be working on a 'Pinocchio' adaptation for Warner Bros. Pictures.

Disney has already rebooted many of its beloved animations including 'The Jungle Book' and 'Beauty and the Beast', and the company has a number of films lined up for live action updates such as 'Mulan', 'The Lion King', 'Winnie the Pooh' and 'Aladdin'.