Guillermo del Toro to co-direct new Pinocchio film

The director has championed a new telling of the story, and will work with Mark Gustafson on a stop-motion animation version

Guillermo del Toro is set to bring the story of Pinocchio back to the big screen after signing on to co-direct a new stop-motion animated take on the famous 19th-century tale.

Del Toro will share duties with Mark Gustafson, animation director on Wes Anderson's acclaimed Fantastic Mr Fox, which took a similar approach. The project is being overseen by the Jim Henson Company, which hopes to sell it to buyers at the upcoming Cannes film festival.

Currently titled "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio", the film will transfer the story of the puppet who wanted to be a real boy to post-first world war Italy, where "everyone was behaving like a puppet, except for puppets" according to Del Toro. The project will mark the first time the Mexican director has taken charge of an animated feature.

Del Toro has been working on the film since a 2008 in a producer's role, but only recently decided to take the top job due to the complexity of the production process. "Little by little, I realised that I should direct," he told Variety. The film-maker has developed ideas by illustrator Gris Grimly and regular collaborator Matthew Robbins, who has written the screenplay.

Other names in the frame for the new take on Pinocchio include Nick Cave, who is taking charge of the music, Donald Sutherland and Tom Waits, both of whom are being considered for voice roles.

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


Ben Child

The GuardianTramp

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