We learned last year that Guillermo del Toro is going to be directing a stop motion animated Pinocchio film, a longtime passion project for del Toro that’s finally coming to life in the near future. Del Toro will write, produce and direct a brand new version of the classic children’s tale about a puppet who wants to be a real live boy, based on Gris Grimly‘s designs.
As you’d probably expect, del Toro’s Pinocchio will be quite unlike past tellings of the tale – including Carlo Collodi’s original children’s novel and Disney’s animated classic.
“The film will be set in Italy during the ’30s, a particularly fraught historical moment and a time when Fascism was on the rise and Benito Mussolini was consolidating control of the country.”
Speaking with Variety this week, del Toro touched on one of the key differences he’s bringing to the table. He explained, “To me, Pinocchio, very much like Frankenstein, is a blank canvas in which learning the curve of what the world is and what being human is are very attractive to do as a story. I’m very attracted to it because, thematically — and I don’t want to spoil what the movie’s about — it’s about something that is in all of my movies, which is choice. That’s a theme that is very dear to my heart.”
Del Toro continued, “I think [earlier versions of] the story, and Collodi’s in particular, are very repressive. It’s essentially a very brutalist fable about what a sin disobedience is. And I think disobedience is the beginning of the will, and the beginning of choice. … I think there’s something that’s very attractive about seeing disobedience as a virtue, or as the beginning of a virtue.”