"No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio," del Toro said in a press release announcing the extension of his Netflix deal, which has already resulted in Trollhunters and 10 After Midnight. "In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world. I've wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember."
For his animated feature film directorial debut, the Oscar winner will be joined by co-director Mark Gustafson (The PJs) and co-writer Patrick McHale (Adventure Time). The film will be set in 1930s Italy and boasts puppet creations from Corpse Bride's Mackinnon and Saunders. The Jim Henson Company and ShadowMachine (BoJack Horseman) will also be providing production assistance. Production is slated to kick off later this year.
The Pinocchio story is one del Toro has been hoping to land the privilege of interpreting for years. Way back in 2011, reports came in that del Toro and the Jim Henson Company were set to begin production that year with Pathe based on a storyline from del Toro and Matthew Robbins. At the time, del Toro said he had a vision for a "more surreal and slightly darker" take on the story than had previously been seen.