A passion project he had been trying to get off the ground for quite some time, Guillermo del Toro is finally directing his stop motion animated Pinocchio feature film for Netflix, and he spoke a bit about the project in a new chat with THR this week. For starters, as you surely won’t be surprised to hear, it’s not going to be like any other Pinocchio project.
“It’s not a Pinocchio for all the family,” del Toro told the site. “Of course [it’s a political film]. Pinocchio during the rise of Mussolini, do the math. A puppet during the rise of fascism.”
He said of Pinocchio, who he perfectly compared in the interview to Frankenstein’s monster, “He’s a creature that is created through unnatural means from a father that he then distances [himself] from, and has to learn about failure and pain and loneliness.”
Del Toro will write, produce and direct the stop motion musical version of the classic children’s tale about a puppet who wants to be a real live boy, based on Gris Grimly‘s designs.
“The film will be set in Italy during the 1930s, a particularly fraught historical moment and a time when Fascism was on the rise and Benito Mussolini was consolidating control of the country.”
Del Toro will collaborate with the Jim Henson Company, the company behind “The Dark Crystal” and ShadowMachine, the creator of “Bojack Horseman.” Lisa Henson, ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar of Exile Entertainment will produce the film. Blanca Lista will co-produce.
Patrick McHale (“Over The Garden Wall”) will co-write the script, and Mark Gustafson (“Fantastic Mr. Fox”) will co-direct the movie. Guy Davis will serve as co-production designer and the film’s puppets will be built by Mackinnon and Saunders, the team behind “Corpse Bride.”