With a list of projects ranging from a reimagining of Frankenstein all the way to a television show featuring Marvel’s Hulk, Guillermo del Toro easily has the longest "in development" list in Hollywood. His workload continues to grow; Deadline has just revealed that del Toro is working on a stop-motion adaptation of the classic tale Pinocchio. Teaming up with the Jim Henson Company and Pathe, del Toro seems ready to assemble a creative team that would make any animation junkie drool themselves into dehydration.
While del Toro is the driving force behind this project, he won't actually direct. That distinction goes to Gris Grimly and Mark Gustafson. Grimly is the man responsible for the 2002 illustrated book adaptation of Pinnochio, which inspired this new version, and Gustafson worked as the animation director on Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox.
This new adaptation of the classic tale will be more in line with the original Carlo Collodi version. While still aimed at younger children, del Toro’s Pinocchio will be much darker and more dangerous than anything seen in the past. “There has to be darkness in any fairy tale or children’s narrative work, something the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson and Walt Disney understood,” says del Toro. “We tend to call something Disney-fied, but a lot of people forget how powerfully disturbing the best animated Disney movies are, including those kids being turned into donkeys in Pinocchio. What we’re trying to do is present a Pinocchio that is more faithful to the take that Collodi wrote. That is more surreal and slightly darker than what we’ve seen before.”
Del Toro seems like the perfect fit to mastermind this project. Having experience with Pan’s Labyrinth and two Hellboy movies, he's proven himself more than capable of bringing fantasy and fairytales to life in a way that preserves the youthful innocence of the stories while adding his own touch of darkness.
Deadline also notes that, besides Pinocchio, del Toro and James Cameron are two weeks away from getting a green-light for their adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story At the Mountains of Madness. Stay tuned to Complex for any updates on either project.