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Guillermo del Toro Is Bringing His Pinocchio Passion Project To Netflix

By Kristy Puchko | Film | October 22, 2018 |

By Kristy Puchko | Film | October 22, 2018 |


Guillermo del Toro is a filmmaker with many, many big ideas and dream projects. And today is very exciting, because not only is one of his long-loved ambitions coming to life, but it’s doing so with a team that promises it will be all kinds of outstanding.

Following on the heels of DreamWorks’ Trollhunters, Netflix is reteaming with del Toro to produce his long-wished-for adaptation of Pinocchio. The story of this little wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy will be set in the 1930s, and will be executed as a stop-motion musical! Co-writing the script with del Toro is Patrick McHale, best-known as the co-creator of Over the Garden Wall, an absolutely sensational cartoon limited series that blends folklore into a charming tale of brotherly love and coming-of-age. (Now on Hulu and perfect for Halloween!) Co-directing with The Shape of Water helmer will be Mark Gustafson, who was the animation director of Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. And The Jim Henson Company is teaming with del Toro and with animation company Mackinnon and Saunders creating the puppets for the film, which will be shooting this fall.

In Netflix’s official statement, del Toro declared:

“No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio. In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world. I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember. After the incredible experience we have had on Trollhunters, I am grateful that the talented team at Netflix is giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to introduce audiences everywhere to my version of this strange puppet-turned-real-boy.”

Despite detractors declaring the streaming service is a threat to movie theaters, Netflix has become a godsend for filmmakers with bold ambitions. They’ve had a hand in Bong Joon-ho’s challenge fable Okja, David Ayer’s fantasy/cop drama Bright, Dee Rees’ race relations drama Mudbound, Ava DuVernay’s prison complex doc 13th, the Coen Bros omnibus Western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Martin Scorsese’s upcoming mob biopic The Irishman, and Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, which is getting major buzz and rave reviews ahead of its release.

Netflix is investing big in del Toro. Trollhunters has become the first of the DreamWorks’ Tales of Arcadia trilogy. Its second offering, 3Below, is an adventure about two crash-landed royal teens being chased by bounty hunters, and will hit Netflix on December 21, 2018, while the climactic Wizards will come in 2019. Plus, Netflix is brewing the horror anthology series Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight. So there’s plenty more of del Toro’s twisted takes on monsters, horror, and love coming up!

Kristy Puchko is the film editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.

Header Image Source: Getty