Guillermo del Toro is making his animated feature film directorial debut at Netflix with his lifelong passion project, Pinocchio.
The stop-motion musical, which del Toro will write and produce, will be the director’s first feature film since The Shape of Water, which won four Academy Awards last year, including for Best Director and Best Picture.
Del Toro has set his retelling of the classic tale of Pinocchio in Italy during the 1930s and is producing with The Jim Henson Company (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) and ShadowMachine (Bojack Horseman, The Shivering Truth), which will house the stop-motion animation production. Alongside del Toro, Lisa Henson, ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar of Exile Entertainment will produce. Blanca Lista will co-produce. Patrick McHale (Over The Garden Wall, Adventure Time) will co-write the script, Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) will co-direct, and Guy Davis will serve as co-production designer, taking inspiration from Gris Grimly’s original design for the Pinocchio character. The film’s puppets will be built by Mackinnon and Saunders (Corpse Bride).
Guillermo says: “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.”
Melissa Cobb, Vice President of Kids and Family at Netflix: “Throughout his distinguished career, Guillermo has exhibited mastery in inspiring people through his magical worlds filled with unforgettable and magnificent characters, from the monsters in Pan’s Labyrinth to the aquatic beast in The Shape of Water. We are incredibly excited to expand our relationship with Guillermo and we know that his deeply touching vision for bringing Pinocchio to life on Netflix will be embraced by audiences the world over.”
The film marks an expansion of Netflix’s existing relationship with Guillermo del Toro, following the Emmy-winning TV series Trollhunters, the first installment of DreamWorks’ Tales of Arcadia trilogy. The next chapter, 3Below, is set to debut on December 21st 2018, followed by Wizards in 2019. He is also the creator of the upcoming Netflix series, Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight.
Production on Pinocchio is expected to begin this autumn.