Gothic hack Tim Burton is at it again! And by “it” I, of course, mean that he’ll take other people’s creations and make them dark. This time around it’s Pinocchio, which THR says could be his next film, barring some things we’ll get to in one second. Before that, it should be said (and, to be honest, you probably know this from the headline) that Robert Downey Jr. could be leading it all; it’s reported that the actor has “serious interest” in both Bryan Fuller‘s script and the opportunity to work with Burton. The only stopgaps are pesky things like contracts and schedules.

The former requires both Burton and Downey to ink a deal with Warner Bros.; the director is talking to the studio, but his future projects — Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children being chief among them — need to be thrown to the side for another year or so. THR claims that the studio “wants to move quickly with Pinocchio,” and if something like, say, Peregrine ends up being his next, “the studio might move on to other directors.” Oh, no.

Downey Jr. is also a busy man, and, thus, his packed calendar needs to be touched up before anything can be signed. If he does end up putting his name on the contract, expect it to happen in the near future — Warners wants the two to “commit soon so the project can be fast-tracked.”

There must be something special past the basic logline to attract talent — well, Downey Jr., at least — as it sounds standard in just one sentence: “Geppetto embarks on a quest to reunite with his missing marionette.” But, to disregard something that’s hard to properly judge in the first place, I do like Fuller‘s unique touch and dark sense of humor a great deal — Pushing Daisies is more effective as a comedic approach to death than anything Burton has ever made. And while he’s overexposed to the point where I fear he’ll explode like a supernova, Downey Jr. is immensely entertaining to watch when given the right material.

But then there’s the director. I’ve said how I feel about him before, but I’ll just encapsulate my thoughts for those who don’t know: If he stays, I go. I can’t lean many other ways here.

Does a Tim Burton-directed Pinocchio sound like a good idea? How about with Downey Jr. starring?

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