Guillermo Del Toro’s passion project Pinocchio has been weltering in development hell for more than 10 years. Today that dream took a step closer to becoming reality when Netflix announced the film’s cast.
del Toro’s upcoming stop-motion animated musical feature titular character will go to newcomer Gregory Mann as Pinocchio. Scottish actor Ewan McGregor will voice as Cricket and David Bradley (Harry Potter franchise, Game of Thrones) as Geppetto.
Other cast includes Academy Award ® winner Tilda Swinton, Academy Award® winner Christoph Waltz, Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) , Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett, John Turturro (The Batman), Golden Globe winner Ron Perlman (Nightmare Alley), Tim Blake Nelson (Watchmen), Burn Gorman (Enola Holmes).
Drawing on the classic Carlo Collodi tale, this stop motion musical follows the extraordinary journey of a wooden boy magically brought to life by a father’s wish. Set during the rise of Fascism in Mussolini’s Italy, del Toro’s Pinocchio is a story of love and disobedience as Pinocchio struggles to live up to his father’s expectations.
Related: Film Review – Pinocchio (2019) | Second Opinion
Del Toro said in a statement “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”
The film is directed by del Toro and Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox). Del Toro and Patrick McHale wrote the script. The song lyrics are by del Toro and Katz, with music by Academy Award® winner Alexandre Desplat who will also write the score. Gris Grimly created the original design for the Pinocchio character. The film’s puppets are being built by Mackinnon and Saunders (Corpse Bride).
Pinocchio is produced by del Toro, The Jim Henson Company’s Lisa Henson, ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley and Corey Campodonico, as well as Exile Entertainment’s Gary Ungar; it is co-produced by Blanca Lista of The Jim Henson Company and Gris Grimly. Other credits include production supervisor Melanie Coombs, co-production designers Guy Davis and Curt Enderle, animation supervisor Brian Hansen, puppet supervisor Georgina Hayns, director of photography Frank Passingham, art director Rob DeSue, and animatic editor Ken Schretzmann.
Principal photography began last Autumn however production has continued uninterrupted during the pandemic. No release date has been confirmed for when the film is set to debut in cinemas and on Netflix.