Gris Grimly & Guillermo del Toro Team For Stop-Motion ‘Pinocchio’!

Last night SpookyDan hit up a special DVD/Blu-ray release party for Universal Home Entertainment’s Helboy II: The Golden Army where he had the chance to talk with both creator Mike Mignola and director Guillermo del Toro. Inside you can read about the HOBBIT, more HELLBOYs and read our exclusive breaking news on a new stop-motion animated version of Pinocchio he’ll be working on with artists Gris Grimly!
Last night at the HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY DVD/Blu-ray launch party, Guillermo del Toro and Mike Mignola were on hand to tell us about the new disk, and what stuff he has lined up in his future. One project he’s really excited for is DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK.

You know, I am really exited about DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, which is being directed by Troy Nixon,” del Toro tells SpookyDan on the red carpet. “The original TV movie that it’s based on was so scary when I was a kid. I think that the version that we are doing is really good! Also, I am really excited about SPLICE, which is a Vincenzo Natali [Cube] film – it’s a really new take on a monster movie.

He also explains that THE ORPHANAGE remake is coming along well.

The remake of THE ORPHANAGE is shaping up to be really interesting, if it happens the way I think it will.

The big news will have Gris Grimly fan freaking out as Del Toro dropped a bomb on us last night with some details regarding his involvement producing a feature film with Grimly in the directors chair!

We are trying to get a full stop-motion version of Gris Grimly’s PINOCCHIO off the ground, with the Jim Henson Company,” Del Toro breaks the news exclusively to Bloody-Disgusting. “The idea came from Gris, and everybody loves his book about it. The original story is far more perverse and spooky and semi-necrophilia vibe to it in certain aspects. Gris certainly has that vein in him, he wants to do this with that original spookiness in it, we are trying to get it going. The Jim Henson Company is the behind it and we are currently working on the screenplay! Its not coming to a screen near you any time soon, even if it were to begin today it would be about three years in the making, but we are working to make it happen. A full-scale puppet universe takes time,” he jokes.

In Grimly’s version of PINOCCHIO, once there was a lonely woodcutter named Geppetto-who dreamed of having a boy of his own. So one day he carved a boy out of wood and named him Pinocchio.When the puppet comes to life, it’s Geppetto’s dream come true.Except Pinocchio turns out to be not such a nice boy after all. Pinocchio enjoys nothing better than creating mischief and playing mean tricks. As he discovers, being bad is much more fun than being good. For a while, anyway. Happily for Pinocchio, he will learn that there is much more to being a real boy than having fun.

But PINOCCHIO is only the tip of the iceberg as Del Toro reveals that he is planning a full-scale puppet movie of his own!

I am not at liberty to speak about it right now, but one of the hundred things we are doing is developing a full-scale puppet film of my own as well,” he reveals to B-D. “It came about on the set of HELLBOY II. The beginning of the film has a puppet sequence, and when we budgeted it out as live-action it came in around $7 million, The studio said ‘No’, so I proposed we do it with puppets. Mike Mignola loved the idea and I think its one of the wonderful finding in the film.

He did shed a little light to us on just how dark and scary the HOBBIT films will be.

THE HOBBIT is a book that is not as much of a children’s book as people seem to remember it. It is not a gory book, were not going to create gore for the sake of gore. There is some intense stuff, as there was in the trilogy. I remember reading it at 11-years-old and being frankly, pretty spooked! We are not imposing any darkness or goriness for the sake of it, we are trying to render the book in the best way possible.

Creator Mike Mignola told us about working in the film industry and working with Del Toro, but didn’t want to be more involved in any future HELLBOY films than he already is.

I am happy to visit the set of as many as they want to make, I don’t want to direct film at all,” he explains. “Certainly, I hope to see Guillermo back in the director’s chair. I am happy in the limited capacity as a consultant. The trick is, at the end of HELLBOY II we are in such completely different territory, it’s so much NOT my comic. We have Liz pregnant with twins at the end… that is (for my HELLBOY) a billion miles away from anything I ever conceived of. So for the third movie, Guillermo will have to tell me what it is. He and I sat down and came up with the second one together, and for the third.” He continues, “It’s now completely Guillermo Del Toro’s HELLBOY, [and] I suspect that my main involvement in HELLBOY III would be to safeguard the ending I have in the comic, to actually NOT let him put my ending on the screen, 15 years before I get there. I gotta watch my ass!

HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY is now available on both DVD and Blu-ray from Universal Home Entertainment.