Guillermo Del Toro To Co-Direct Pinocchio

Trying to count the number of projects that Guillermo Del Toro has on the go is an almost futile exercise.  Can’t we just say “all of them” and be done with it?  Anyway, he’s announced to Variety that he’ll be co-directing a stop-motion version of Pinocchio which has been on the back burner for quite some time.

He announced it way back in 2008, with the intention to add his trademark dark fairy tale style to the story.  Gus Grimly and co-director Adam Parrish King were on board working from a story by Grimly, del Toro and Matthew Robbins for the Jim Henson Company.

Somehow it never really got going and last year it was announced that although Grimly was still involved, Parrish King had been replaced by Fantastic Mr Fox animation head Mark Gustafson.

Now Gustafson is still on board but Grimly will only serve as a producer. Speaking to Variety, del Toro said, “Little by little, I realized that I should direct”. That’s not wholly surprising given that the subject matter falls well within del Toro’s ouevre.

The current story is set in Italy between the two world wars and will see Pinocchio “embarking on a series of adventures and proving himself to be as indestructible as his love for his father”. no casting decisions have officially been made but del Toro mentioned that he had Tom Waits in mind for spry toy maker Geppetto and Donald Sutherland as the wily Fox that ensnares Pinocchio on his travels. Adding to the general dark edge is Nick Cave, who will act as the music consultant.

There’s quite some time to work out the details as shooting won’t start till 2013 – enough time to del Toro to busy himself with another score of projects.