We last reported on Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio back in May. At the time he was set to co-direct it with Mark Gustafson (animation director for Fantastic Mr. Fox) for the Jim Henson Company.
Del Toro has been working on this project since 2008 with writer/artist Gris Grimly, and it’s Grimly who broke the bad news on Twitter last night. Per Bleeding Cool he said, “Short to the point update on Pinocchio for those inquiring: It appears that this is not the right time for such a superior-adventurous flick… There are people like us out there. But they look at numbers. Frankenweenie was a box office failure to them.” The tweets have since been deleted and it’s hard to know exactly what this means – if some kind of plug has been pulled or if momentum has just slowed.
In the meantime, I wouldn’t call this project dead, just resting. It’s entirely possible it could get on its feet again. It’s likely that the financial underperformance of Frankenweenie (which is a bummer since I loved that movie) is a contributing factor here, but if Pacific Rim is a hit maybe Del Toro gets enough juice to push this through.