Guillermo del Toro to Co-Direct His Own 3D Stop-Motion 'Pinocchio'
Over a year ago we got our first look at Guillermo del Toro's new spin on the classic story of Pinocchio. The brilliant director revealed their collaboration on a stop-motion animated version of the story with The Jim Henson Company & Pathe back in 2008 and the concept art looked positively astounding. At the time Gris Grimly, who illustrated the 2002 take on the story, was directing with Mark Gustafson, but now Variety has word that del Toro himself has decided to co-direct, his first animated film, with Gustafson with an eye towards shooting once he's completely done with Pacific Rim sometime next summer. More below!
Gustafson served as animation director on The Fantastic Mr. Fox, so he's in good company for his first outing with stop-motion animation in a feature film (though he has executive produced Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda 2 and the forthcoming Rise of the Guardians. Set between World War I and World War II, the story will follow Pinocchio embarking on a series of adventures and proving himself to be as indestructible as his love for his father. Del Toro says, "It was when everyone was behaving like a puppet, except for puppets." Grimly's touch will still be on the film as he wrote the story with del Toro and the Hellboy director's frequent collaborator Matthew Robbins who also wrote the screenplay.
Apparently del Toro is planning a re-design for the film, so some of that original concept art work might be out of date now, but I have no doubt the designs will still be amazing. In addition, while no casting decisions are official, del Toro reavealed he's considered Tom Waits for the role of Pinocchio's father and Donald Sutherland for the role of the fox. The filmmaker said, "Little by little, I realized that I should direct," mainly because of the influence the original 1940 Disney animated film had on del Toro as a child, so this will be nothing short of a passion project. I can't wait for this project to come together, and hope this is the start of many more animated projects from Guillermo del Toro.