ABC



Life is beautiful for Roberto Benigni in writer-director Matteo Garrone’s upcoming live-action version of "Pinocchio."

HanWay films has released a first look image of the Oscar winner as Geppetto, the woodcarver who creates Pinocchio and becomes his father.

HanWay Films



Benigni won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1999 for “Life Is Beautiful,” which he also directed. "Pinocchio" marks his first time on the big screen in seven years. He last appeared in a cameo in Woody Allen's 2012 movie "To Rome With Love."

In recent years, the Italian performer has focused on his stage adaptation of Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” which toured in Italy and internationally.

This isn't Benigni's first "Pinocchio" related project. In 2002, he directed and starred in his own live-action adaptation of the tale. It flopped at the U.S. box office.

Marrone is known for darker fare, like "Dogman" and "Gomorrah." But bringing it to the big screen was a childhood dream. Filming began in mid-March and will continue for weeks through the countryside of Italy.