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Robert Downey Jr.’s long-gestating Pinocchio remake has landed an A-list director in the form of Ron Howard. The actor has long been set to star in a new live-action version of the classic children’s tale as Geppetto, with his company Team Downey producing.

After a period in the Hollywood wilderness, the project has taken a huge step forward with Howard joining as director. The Rush and Apollo 13 filmmaker replaces Paul Thomas Anderson, who stepped down from directing duties in November.

The project has an interesting history, with Tim Burton also attached to direct back in 2013 before Ben Stiller stepped in to replace him. Stiller eventually dropped out too but with Howard now on board, Pinocchio is expected to finally move along swiftly.

There have been several live-action adaptations of Carlo Carlei’s original story, most recently, Roberto Benigni’s Pinocchio, which was released in 2002. Disney are keen to continue after the box office success they’ve found in re-creating classic tales such as Maleficent, Cinderella and the upcoming Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Are you looking forward to a Ron Howard-directed version of Pinocchio? Pinocchio comes to theatres in 2017. Watch a classic clip of Pinocchio below: