Guillermo del Toro’s widely imaginative Pinocchio movie has rounded up its cast. The film is a stop-motion animated musical that will stream on Netflix once completed.
Up-and-coming actor Gregory Mann will voice the title role as Pinocchio, while Ewan McGregor will lend his voice to Jiminy Cricket. Game of Thrones actor David Bradley will play the old man, Geppetto.
Also in the cast but in unrevealed roles are Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Finn Wolfhard, Tim Blake Nelson and Burn Gorman. According to Deadline, the animated movie has been a long-time dream for del Toro. Helping him out in the movie is Mark Gustafson, who directed the stop-animation Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009).
“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,” del Toro said in a statement announcing the cast. “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.”
Set during the rise of Fascism in Mussolini’s Italy, PINOCCHIO — a musical directed by del Toro and Mark Gustafson (FANTASTIC MR. FOX) with a score by Alexandre Desplat — is a story of love and disobedience as Pinocchio struggles to live up to his father’s expectations.
— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) August 19, 2020
Production details and development of the animation
In 2018, del Toro revealed his plans to The Hollywood Reporter to develop a “dark” version of Pinocchio with writer Patrick McHale. Production started in the second half of 2019 in Portland and went uninterrupted despite the pandemic lockdown.
The stop-animation puppet’s designs are reportedly inspired by Gris Grimly’s illustrations. The film will be set in turbulent 1930s Italy and will be completely different from the Disney animated classic.
And this should be a truer tale of Pinocchio. And DelToro is using the artwork of Gris Grimly for style 😻 pic.twitter.com/cPeCS0sXva
— The Fattest Leech (@FattestLeech) April 11, 2019
“I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember. After the incredible experience we have had on Trollhunters, I am grateful that the talented team at Netflix is giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to introduce audiences everywhere to my version of this strange puppet-turned-real-boy,” del Toro said.
McGregor also teased that he has done recordings of Jiminy Cricket’s parts. He’ll do more recordings of the music written by del Toro and scored by Alexandre Desplat.
The other Pinocchio project
Meanwhile, Disney is also planning a live-action movie about the wooden boy who turned into a human being. Tom Hanks is reportedly in talks to star as Geppetto with Robert Zemickis as director.
Hanks and Zemeckis worked on various movies together, such as Forrest Gump, Castaway and The Polar Express. Chris Weitz is writing the screenplay. The film is not expected to be in theaters until 2022. Del Toro’s Pinocchio, on the other hand, will be on the streaming platform sometime in the first half of 2021.
Image used courtesy of Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock