Guillermo del Toro Sets ‘Pinocchio’ Passion Project With Netflix

“Shape of Water” director to make animated feature directing debut

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has set up his lifelong passion project, a new adaptation of “Pinocchio” at Netflix, the company announced on Monday.

Del Toro is making his animated feature film directorial debut on the project which he will also write and produce as a stop-motion musical. “Pinocchio” will be del Toro’s first feature film since “The Shape of Water,” which won four Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture.

Del Toro has set his retelling of “Pinocchio” in Italy during the 1930s.

This marks an expansion of Netflix’s existing relationship with Guillermo del Toro, who created their Emmy award-winning television series DreamWorks’ “Trollhunters,” the first installment of the DreamWorks’ “Tales of Arcadia” trilogy. The next chapter, “3Below,” is set to debut on December 21, 2018, followed by “Wizards” in 2019. He is also the creator of the upcoming Netflix series, “Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight.”

Pinocchio is a production of Guillermo del Toro, 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. Also alongside del Toro, 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”).

Netflix expects production on Pinocchio to begin this fall.

“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,” said Del Toro in a statement to TheWrap. “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.”

“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,” added Melissa Cobb, Vice President of Kids and Family at Netflix. “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.”

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