In his first film deal since winning the Best Picture and Best Director Oscars earlier this year, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has made a deal with Netflix to write, produce and co-direct his stop-motion animated passion project “Pinocchio”.
Del Toro has long been working on this adaptation which he struggled to find a studio backer for over the years as the take is a decidedly darker and musical version of the tale which will unfold in Italy during the turbulent 1930s in a political environment of repression and growing fascism.
The tone is expected to be akin to his work on “Pan’s Labryrinth” which blended a dark fable against Francoist Spain in the Second World War. Del Toro has written the script with Patrick McHale and will co-direct with Mark Gustafson (“Fantastic Mr. Fox”), while The Jim Henson Company, “Bojack Horseman” production company ShadowMachine, Lisa Henson, Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar will produce. Production will get underway before the year is out.
Del Toro will make his animated film directing debut here, though has produced numerous animated films and series for both Dreamworks and Netflix. “Pinocchio” is also the third major stop-motion animated film in the works at Netflix, the others being Taika Waititi’s “Bubbles” and Henry Selick’s “Wendell and Wild”.