Luke Evans to play the sinister coachman in Tom Hanks' 'Pinocchio' remake

Cast member Luke Evans attends the premiere of "Midway" in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 5, 2019. REUTERS/Phil McCarten
Luke Evans (Credit: REUTERS/Phil McCarten)

Amid the insane deluge of Star Wars and Marvel announcements at the Disney Investor Day in December, the remake of Pinocchio with Tom Hanks got slightly lost.

But now there's some more casting news, with Welsh actor Luke Evans set to star as the sinister coachman from the 1940 animated classic.

On the announcement, Evans said on Twitter: “I cannot wait to start!!!”

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Sinister is perhaps understating the attributes of Evans character, however.

In the original movie, the coachman, voiced by prolific actor Charles Judels (who also voiced the evil puppeteer Stromboli) is a grotesque character.

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Festooned in pipe smoke, he collects 'stupid little boys', transporting them to slavery on Pleasure Island, where they eventually turn into donkeys.

The Disney wiki page refers to him as ‘one of the most evil, malevolent, hateful, cruel, sinister, and dangerous Disney villains with absolutely no redeeming qualities, and is rather infamous for his wicked actions, greed and his pleasure in destroying children's lives’.

The Coachman (Credit: Disney)
The Coachman (Credit: Disney)

The new movie, which is set for release on Disney's streaming platform Disney+, is being made by veteran director Robert Zemeckis, with Hanks playing the role of the Geppetto, the kindly carpenter who crafts Pinocchio in his workshop.

Evans has form in Disney live-action remakes, having played the role of the arrogant Gaston in Beauty and the Beast.

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A live-action version of Pinocchio has been in the pipeline for some time, with directors including Sam Mendes and Paddington helmsman Paul King at one time attached.

Zemeckis came on board in 2019, and has co-written the movie's script with Twilight and Rogue One co-writer Chris Weitz.

The new Pinocchio will also feature new music, penned by veteran composer Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard, while young actor Oakes Fegley will play the role of Lampwick.

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