You really would think that Guillermo del Toro had enough on his plate, without deciding that he needs to co-direct one of the many millions of projects he’s already overseeing as a producer. But that would be to underestimate how his mind works. And he’s made it officially, telling Variety that he’ll handle co-directing duties on the stop-motion version of Pinocchio he’s being brewing for years now.
Del Toro first announced his intention back in 2008, looking to harken back to a darker but still family-friendly take on the puppet tale, with illustrator Gus Grimly and co-director Adam Parrish King attached to oversee things, working from a story honed by Grimly, del Toro and frequent collaborator Matthew Robbins for the Jim Henson Company.
The info-horn grew quiet for a while, until last year when things had moved on to Grimly still co-directing, but this time with Fantastic Mr Fox animation head Mark Gustafson.
And today? Gustafson remains aboard, but Grimly will only be a producer. "Little by little, I realized that I should direct," del Toro tells Variety, going on to explain how Pinocchio had a huge influence on him and his obsession with puppets. The current story, set in Italy between the World Wars, sees the wooden boy proving to be as indestructible as his love for his father.
No casting choices have been made, but the newly-attached director did say he’s been considering Tom Waits as puppet-carving pop Geppetto and Donald Sutherland to voice the cunning Fox that our hero meets on his travels. Nick Cave remains involved as music consultant.
With GDT currently a little busy editing Pacific Rim, production on Pinocchio won’t kick off until summer 2013, but the movie will apparently only take a year to shoot, which seems swift for a stop-motion project. Still, if anyone can pull it off…