In May 2017, Sam Mendes had reportedly been chosen to direct the film, with Cinderella writer Chris Weitz writing write the screenplay, but in February 2018, Paul King had been confirmed, with Jack Thorne being set to rewrite Weitz's script.
On August 21, 2018, Weitz revealed that the script was still in development and that filming was expected to occur in England and Italy, beginning at some point in 2019. In November 2018, Tom Hanks had entered early talks to play Geppetto. In January 2019, it was announced that Paul King had quit as the director due to family reasons.
In October 2019, it was announced that Robert Zemeckis was in talks to replace King as director, while Chris Weitz had written a new script along with King and Simon Farnaby. Chris Weitz will also produce the film with Andrew Milano. It was also reported that Tom Hanks has turned down the role of Geppeto. On November 29, 2018, Zemeckis officially signed on as director. In August 2020, Disney announced that they were again eyeing Hanks for the role of Geppetto.
On December 10, 2020, it was announced that the film would premiere exclusively on Disney+.