Sam Mendes leaves Disney's live action Pinocchio
Sam Mendes has stepped away from Disney's live action remake of 'Pinocchio'.
The 52-year-old director - whose last two big screen projects were the James Bond films 'Skyfall' and 'Spectre' - was attached to the studio's re-imagining of the classic 1940 cartoon, which was Walt Disney's second animated feature film following 1937's acclaimed 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'.
Sources have told The Tracking Board that Mendes has now 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.
Disney's original movie 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'.