Guillermo del Toro Directing ‘Pinocchio’ for Netflix

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Guillermo del Toro has no doubt been given free reign to do whatever he'd like after his follow-up to the Oscar-winning “The Shape of Water.” 

According to THR, del Toro has signed on with Netflix to write, direct, and produce a stop-motion version of his long-time passion project, “Pinocchio.” It's now or never when it comes to Pinocchio for del Toro; after all, the director will not have this much creative freedom ever again in his career because, who are we kidding here, his kind of films don't usually win any Oscars. The fact that 'Shape' did is some kind of miracle. The Academy tends to not go for his brand of fanboy-driven fantasy/sci-fi. Alas, they did, and all the stars aligned properly for del Toro to be recognized and it was absolutely lovely to witness.

I will follow del Toro with whichever new project he gives us. I've been a fan of his since his very beginning with 1993's “Cronos." Ever since that debut, he's given us a variety of genre entanglements, most notably "Pan's Labyrinth," "Pacific Rim," "Crimson Peak," "The Devils' Backbone," two "Hellboy" flicks and the aforementioned "Shape of Water." No release date is set for del Toro’s “Pinocchio,” but production could begin this fall. 

“Pinocchio” is a project that del Toro has been painstakingly trying to get off the ground for a decade now, and it looks like he’s found a studio that will give him the sufficient budget to do so.

“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,” said del Toro. “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.”

Adventure Time” writer Patrick McHale is on board to co-write the film with del Toro. Mark Gustafson, who did excellent work on “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” will co-direct alongside del Toro.

Melissa Cobb, VP of kids and family content for Netflix, said, “Throughout his distinguished career, Guillermo has exhibited mastery in inspiring people through his magical worlds filled with unforgettable and magnificent characters, from the monsters in ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ to the aquatic beast in ‘The Shape of Water.’ We are incredibly excited to expand our relationship with Guillermo and we know that his deeply touching vision for bringing Pinocchio to life on Netflix will be embraced by audiences the world over.

On the other side of the aisle, Disney is, of course, working on a live-action version of 'Pinocchio' and recently hired “Paddington” director Paul King.