Guillermo del Toro, whose latest film (and his proudest personal achievement) The Shape of Water arrives next month, has been attached to more projects over the years than he’s actually ended up making. One of those projects? A dark, 3D stop-motion Pinocchio film geared towards a more adult audience.
Whatever happened to that movie and what was his vision for his own take on the classic tale? Del Toro opened up about the project in a new chat with IGN this week.
“It’s not happening,” Del Toro definitively told the site. “But the idea was to do Pinocchio during the ascension of fascism in Italy, with Mussolini. It was a good time to discuss the idea of being a puppet or being a human, but you know, it’s not in progress.”
Del Toro previously detailed the project to EW when it was in active development.
“In a strange way, two of the stories that fascinate me the most are kind of related, which is Frankenstein and Pinocchio. They are both about creatures that are created and then get lost in a world they don’t understand,” he said. “And they are both journeys of understanding, and journeys of evolution of the spirit. When we started working on Pinocchio we knew very clearly that we wanted to make it different in the sense that it is not just a fairy tale but a fairy tale that actually moves you and emotionally affects you. It deals with ideas that are relevant to everyone, to all mankind in a way.”
“I hesitate to say just darker, because it’s not *just* darker,” Del Toro continued. “It is a tale that is adapted to a more complex reality, more complex ethical questions. It’s more a tale for youth than a tale for just kids. Even the original book and the Disney version are pretty scary. I think the moments where they go to Pleasure Island, even in the original animated movie, it was pretty intense. When I was a kid I was absolutely horrified. It will be much more intense in our version.”
Check out early concept art from the aborted project below.