It’s been a couple of years since Guillermo del Toro announced that he’d be producing a version of Pinocchio based on the script he co-wrote with regular collaborator Matthew Robbins. Back then, he dropped word that the Jim Henson Company would be involved. Now comes the news that the film will start shooting in stop-motion later this year.
Guillermo’s participation hasn’t changed – he’s knee deep in getting At The Mountains Of Madness going, so he won’t be wielding the megaphone. But he’s leaving that job in the capable hands of Gris Grimly, whose illustrated take on the story sparked del Toro’s imagination back in 2002, and Mark Gustafson, who served as animation director on Fantastic Mr. Fox. And the film now has production support from Pathe, which means it can actually go ahead. Hooray!
"I believe that our tale of Pinocchio recaptures the darker, more daunting aspects of the book that have been missing from previous film incarnations and takes advantage of all the allegorical aspects of the tale,” del Toro says in a statement. “Gris and Mark have a clear vision of this world. Matthew, the directors and I have constructed an adaptation that I feel enormously proud of.” The “darker” elements include the fact that the Blue Fairy in this version is a dead girl’s spirit and the heroic puppet having strange, lucid dreams.
“Stop-motion animation will be a new style of telling this well-known tale, a hand-crafted style with which we were eager to work since it requires a high level of artistry and craftsmanship that is similar to the work of The Jim Henson Company,” adds Lisa Henson.
With Nick Cave aboard to handle music chores, we should see the film itself within about three years. And you can see some of the early art they produced for the film in the gallery below.