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More Details Revealed For Guillermo del Toro's Stop-Motion 'Pinocchio'

Guillermo del Toro's stop-motion adaptation of Pinocchio was nearly one of the many projects that the Mexican maestro was attached to that would never make it to screen. Luckily, the project was brought back from the dead by Netflix and is now finally in production. The key voice talent has now been announced- and along with it a slew of juicy new details.

Principal photography began last autumn at ShadowMachine's Portland studio and has apparently continued unaffected by the pandemic. This is a relief to hear, as due to the requirement to be on a physical set, stop-motion is one type of animation that is more likely to be hit by the shutdown- as reflected in the news that LAIKA (also based in Portland) was (hopefully temporarily) laying off staff.

Del Toro's version of the classic story takes place in Mussolini's Italy during the rise of fascism, indicating this is going to be very different from previous adaptations- even if it's still a musical. For GDT fans, it also creates parallels with Pan's Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone, which are both set in or around the Spanish Civil War. As those are widely considered two of the director's best films, that makes it even more exciting.

The script is written by del Toro with Patrick McHale (Over The Garden Wall) and GDT will share directing duties with Fantastic Mr Fox's animation director Mark Gustafson. The music will be written by Alexandre Desplat, with song lyrics by del Toro and Katz. The puppets and being built by legendary British model makers MacKinnon and Saunders.

The title role is being played by a relatively unknown young actor named Gregory Mann. Ewan McGregor will voice Cricket, David Bradley (Game of  Thrones, Harry Potter, Doctor Who) voices Gepetto. The cast will also feature Cate Blanchett, Christophe Waltz, Tilda Swinton, Finn Wolfhard, John Turturro and GDT's lucky charm Ron Perlman.

Del Toro says of the project:

After years of pursuing this dream project, I found my perfect partner in Netflix. We have spent a long time curating a remarkable cast and crew and have been blessed by continuous support from Netflix to quietly and carefully soldier on, barely missing a beat. We all love and practice animation with great passion and believe it to be the ideal medium to retell this classic story in a completely new way.

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio is currently expected to be released during 2021.