Reminding us that, sometimes, even a guy like Tom Hanks is just a puppet dangling on entertainment giant strings, Variety reports that Hanks’ upcoming Pinocchio movie, directed by Robert Zemeckis, will go the way of Artemis Fowl and Mulan and skip theaters in favor of Disney+. It won’t be alone, either; per Variety, it’ll be joined by the Yara Shahidi-and-Jude-Law starring Peter Pan And Wendy, plus Raya And The Last Dragon, which will get simultaneous openings both on the streaming service, and in theaters.
It’s hard not to see these moves—which were rolled out as part of Disney’s “Welp, here’s everything, ever” investors call today—as a reaction to Warner Bros.’ recent plans to do similar hybrid releases for pretty much everything on its 2021 schedule. Of course, Disney is still being a little more conservative here; none of the films in question were necessarily going to move mountains, box office-wise, while the decision to paywall Raya beyond a $30 premium fee the same way it did Mulan suggests increased confidence on Disney’s part there. And the company is still holding back on similarly transferring over MCU movie Black Widow, which would really feel like a major concession to COVIDworld.
Pinocchio stars Hanks as Gepetto, working with his old Forrest Gump and Polar Express pal Zemeckis. Hanks reportedly signed on to star in the film back in August; there’s still no word on who’ll be playing his precocious wooden child.