Thursday, May 10, 2012

Guillermo Del Toro To Co-Direct Stop Motion 3D PINOCCHIO!

Definitely thrilled with this announcement! Guillermo del Toro gave himself a creative promotion and is moving in to co-direct the feature with Mark Gustafson (THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX). This will be a 3D stop motion movie from the Jim Henson Company that Del Toro had been gesticulating since 2008.

From Variety:
Story will be set in Italy between WWI and WWII. "It was when everyone was behaving like a puppet, except for puppets," Del Toro said.

Del Toro said Wednesday that he has gradually come around to the idea of co-directing due to the complexity of the project - which will require a year to shoot. He's currently in post-production on "Pacific Rim" for Warner Bros. and is planning to work on a re-design for "Pinocchio."

"Little by little, I realized that I should direct," he added, noting that the story has had a profound influence on him -- to the point of collecting puppets along with original art from Disney's 1940 "Pinocchio." The story is by Del Toro, frequent collaborator Matthew Robbins and Grimly with Pinocchio embarking on a series of adventures and proving himself to be as indestructible as his love for his father. Robbins wrote the screenplay.

"Guillermo has been so passionate about this project from its inception and it is an honor to have him bring his unique blend of live action and animation experience to this well-loved story," said Lisa Henson, who's CEO of the Jim Henson Company.

Del Toro has also said that PINOCCHIO will be "more surreal and slightly darker" and added:
"The Blue Fairy is really a dead girl’s spirit. Pinocchio has strange moments of lucid dreaming bordering on hallucinations, with black rabbits. The sperm whale that swallows Pinocchio was actually a giant dogfish, which allows for more classical scale and design. The many mishaps Pinocchio goes through include several near-death close calls, a lot more harrowing moments. The key with this is not making any of it feel gratuitous, because the story is integrated with moments of comedy and beauty. He’s one of the great characters, whose purity and innocence allows him to survive in this bleak landscape of robbers and thugs, emerging from the darkness with his soul intact." 

Note that Tim Burton has a version of PINOCCHIO that he and Disney have been dreaming up, but that version will be live action, not stop motion 3D. Robert Downey Jr. is attached as Gepetto.

All I can say is GO GUILLERMO GO! We need as much as this man can dish out in the coming years to catch up for those doldrums from the past while. Great to see him delivering this is 3D too.

Sources: Variety | Collider

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