Guillermo del Toro‘s upcoming Pinocchio has been a passion project for the director for years. He’s been trying to get it made for a while and now has found a home with Netflix that is willing to let his artistic venture come to life. The stop-motion storyline from the director of Labyrinth and Hellboy promises something special, and in a new piece by Vanity Fair, he gets to talk about how he’s approaching a more gothic take of the tale.
I’ve always been very intrigued by the links between Pinocchio and Frankenstein,” del Toro tells Vanity Fair for this exclusive first look. “They are both about a child that is thrown into the world. They are both created by a father who then expects them to figure out what’s good, what’s bad, the ethics, the morals, love, life, and essentials, on their own. I think that was, for me, childhood. You had to figure it out with your very limited experience
One thing that intrigued the director was the similarities between the living puppet and the iconic Frankenstein story, as a doctor brings his creation to life.
I’ve always been very intrigued by the links between Pinocchio and Frankenstein. They are both about a child that is thrown into the world. They are both created by a father who then expects them to figure out what’s good, what’s bad, the ethics, the morals, love, life, and essentials, on their own. I think that was, for me, childhood. You had to figure it out with your very limited experience.Guillermo Del Toro
The upcoming film will delve into that kind of ethics a bit, but he promises it’ll still be child-friendly, he simply believes “these are times that demand from kids a complexity that is tremendous. Far more daunting, I think, than when I was a child.”
He’s working on the project alongside Mark Gustafson, who many might know as the animation director for Wes Anderson‘s Fantastic Mr. Fox. Though, there is a deliberate choice to tell the story of a wooden boy coming to life while everyone else is made of stop motion puppets, which also makes it stand out from other adaptations, especially Robert Zemeckis‘s live-action version for Disney.
Gregory Mann will take on the voice of Pinocchio, who is a cheerful fellow but has a sad backstory. He’s actually carved out of the tree that grew over the grave of Gepetto’s son. the heartbroken man will be voiced by David Bradley, who gets a second chance at being a father. Ewan McGregor is also set to join as the purple cricket, Sebastian J. Cricket, who made a home out of Pinocchio’s trunk.
The big departure will be that there are no longer other mystical beings outside of the young boy being brought to life from wood. So, don’t expect the talking animals or donkey transformations from the original storyline. He also generally took a different direction with the villain
I didn’t want magical creatures other than the wood spirit that gives him life, and Pinocchio himself,” del Toro says. “I didn’t want a talking fox and a talking cat and the magic of transforming him into a donkey. I wanted everything else to feel as close as we can to the real world. The three main villains in the original story are the cat, the fox, and the puppeteer, and we wanted to fuse them into oneGuillermo del Toro
As with any del Toro film, Ron Perman is also joining the production as a new addition to the story. he’ll play an authoritarian trying to recruit the wooden boy as a soldier, which moves away from Pleasure Island. He also teases many more changes to iconic characters to make this story truly its own take on a magical creature in a real and dark world.
It definitely sounds like he is taking a different direction and the concept art that was revealed some time ago promises a dark storyline that will surely be among the director’s best. He’s always had a way of telling stories of people that stand out from the rest and it seems the theme will remain in the upcoming Pinocchio film heading to Netflix.
Source: Vanity Fair