Some projects just baffle me at every level, and Shawn Levy seems to be in the business of keying in on films that will do just that. I spent the year before Real Steel‘s release wondering how a robot boxing movie would work, and while its path to possible financial success was clear enough to me, I remain shocked by the relative goodwill it encountered (that I don’t share). At the end of the day though, a big CGI robot movie that shamelessly follows the set path of boxing movies isn’t all that hard to understand. But a movie following the weird old man most well-known from a 70 year old film though..?
The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto is a script written by Michael Vukadinovich, and it tells a Big Fish-like story of the magical toy-maker before he constructed a young German boy out of wood. The story will take the character through a life “of misfortune, war, and adventure all to be with Julia Moon, his true love.” So maybe more of a Ben Button-style take on Finding Neverland? I can’t say. Maybe it’s Levy’s War Horse. Whatever it’s concieved to be, Deadline points out that it falls in line with the new Hollywood instinct to move from incessant alien-based projects to reinterpretations of fairy tales, which has resulted in dueling Snow White projects, among other things. That makes enough sense, except that I don’t buy a live-action visualization of Pinocchio is every going to be particularly popular. That may just be me projecting on everyone else how much little wooden Real Doll boys creep me out.
I do think that if anything Real Steel demonstrates that Levy has some chops when it comes to photographing charming characters. I still don’t buy that he has more than a workman’s handle on action and large-scale storytelling though. This is apparently a project Fox has taken on specifically for Levy to direct, so we’ll see if the director’s skills continue to improve with another story already dripping with sanguine emotional notes just from the logline. No idea where this fits into his schedule, as he’s on one of the half-dozen+ Frankenstein movies being developed, and he’s producing a number of other projects as well.
Perhaps Drew Carey will get to make a cameo?