Similar, or at least seemingly similar, movies coincidentally released at the same time are nothing new. Madagascar and The Wild, Armageddon and Deep Impact, A Bug's Life and Antz, Megamind and Despicable Me, the upcoming White House Down and Olympus has Fallen... Heck, 2012 has brought three theatrically released Snow White adaptations (though it turned out that each of them was of a very different style). Still, it is always weird when two major studios decide to go into development with competing projects, especially since generally only one comes out a winner. Well, it looks like it is going to happen again, this time with Pinocchio movies battling it out.
The first announced was Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio. It is planned to be a dark retelling of the story in motion capture and recent reports say del Toro is actually going to be directing as well as writing/producing, with this being his next project after he finishes Pacific Rim.
The second, and sure to be higher profile, unites two of Hollywood current A-listers: Director Tim Burton and Robert Downey Jr. The movie is going to have a twist (which is generally Burton's approach to these things). The twist is that the story is shown through the eyes of Geppetto, Pinocchio's creator. Burton is currently working on Maleficent, a mega-budget retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story from the point of view of the villain, so it appears Burton will spend the next few years trying to replicate the success of Alice in Wonderland, which made an astounding billion dollars (to Burton's credit, he has released two non-fairy tale movies in the years since Alice, but no one wanted to see them). Jane Goldman of Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class fame will be writing.
Neither are far into development yet, so it is possible one (or both) will be cancelled. The best estimates for their release dates would be late 2014 or early 2015.