Sam Mendes drops out from Disney's live-action 'Pinocchio'

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What exactly motivated Mendes, the Oscar-winning director behind films like American Beauty, to depart from the movie is now unknown, which is only made more complicated when considering the fact that Mendes left Disney's live-action James and the Giant Peach to join Pinocchio earlier this year.

With Mendes exiting, some people are thinking that he's doing so to work on Bond 25, a project which is yet to have a director.

Disney's upcoming live-action Pinocchio film will need to find a new puppeteer. Based on the classic 1940 cartoon pic of the same name, the fresh new feature touts Rogue One: A Star Wars Story scriptwriter Chris Weitz as its scribe.

It numbers among a sequence of live-action remakes that have been gathering momentum since 2010's Alice in Wonderland.

Meanwhile, Beauty and the Beast, which featured British stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the lead roles, recently became a box office smash, grossing $1.2 billion worldwide, while The Jungle Book took $966.5 million (£734.4 million) upon its release past year (16). Jon Favreau's Lion King movie will hit theaters on July 19, 2019, while Tim Burton's Dumbo movie and Guy Ritchie's movie musical Aladdin are now filming.

An accomplished stage director, Sam Mendes followed the award-winning American Beauty with acclaimed graphic novel adaptation Road to Perdition, moving on to Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, and Away We Go before two Bond movies in succession, Skyfall and Spectre.

It would make much more sense for Mendes to return and then hand the baton on to other filmmakers like Christopher Nolan or Denis Villeneuve who have both expressed interest in helming a Bond movie at some point in the future.

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