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Long-awaited ‘Pinocchio’ by Guillermo del Toro will finally become a movie at Netflix

Guillermo del Toro has an entire universe of potential projects that never got off the ground: At the Mountains of Madness, Hellboy III, The Haunted Mansion, and so on. And then there were his potential films that ended up being made without him, like the Hobbit films, Beauty and the Beast and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Now it looks like that ever-growing list has a new addition: Pinocchio.

After years of false starts and cancellations, Guillermo del Toro‘s dark animated take on Pinocchio is finally become a real boy. Netflix has picked up the long-gestating stop-motion animated movie in a deal that will place the Oscar winner as co-director on his first feature film since last year’s Best Picture-winning The Shape of Water.

Like most del Toro projects, this sounds like it could’ve been wonderful, a little bit grim and, of couse, genius.
Del Toro has been working on an adaptation of his anti-fascist take on Pinocchio since at least 2008, hoping to turn the story into a stop-motion adaptation of the art of Gris Grimly. He was working with The Jim Henson Company to bring the project to life. But perhaps it’s fate that Pinocchio only makes it to our screens now. After years of planning, Guillermo Del Toro jump-started his 3D stop-motion animated take on Pinocchio when he announced that he’d be co-directing with Mark Gustafson, with production to get underway next summer.

Gustafson, McHale and del Toro are an absolute dream team, and it is impossible to come up with a screenwriter better suited to del Toro’s particular brand of magical macabre.

"The original story is far more perverse and spooky and semi-necrophilia vibe to it in certain aspects." —

said del Toro.
As previously reported, del Toro intends for his Pinocchio to be "more surreal and slightly darker" than earlier adaptations of the tale, as well as more faithful to Carlo Collodi‘s 19th century book. However, the story will be modernized somewhat, taking place in Italy between the two World Wars ("when everyone was behaving like a puppet, except for puppets," says Del Toro).

Now one of the team’s next steps will be picking out a voice cast. Pinocchio will be del Toro’s first time helming an animated feature.
Now it’s know that the work will be a musical set, while the story of Pinocchio will receive a new reading: its action will develop against the background of the fascism rising in Italy, during the turbulent 1930s.

Production for Pinocchio will begin this fal. It is noted that del Toro, in the production of the film, will act not only as a director, but also as a producer, as well as a screenwriter.
"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."

Guillermo del Toro
Mr. del Toro, the Mexican filmmaker known for the terrifying fantasy of "Pan's Labyrinth" and American action-horror series like "Hellboy". Amazing and sometimes frightening creations have become the card of the director since the times of the Oscar-winning "Labyrinth of the Faun". But few people know that Guillermo del Toro lovingly collects all the creatures he created, along with a huge number of books and all sorts of creepy curiosities. And sometimes it even allows others to look at their collection.

On the eve of Halloween, welcome to Guillermo del Toro’s imagination. Let’s look into the House of Horrors of the great creator.
Guillermo del Toro in his Bleak House
When Guillermo del Toro was a child, he had a fake Victorian writing desk, bought by his mother for his comic books, horror action figures and texts. It was the first, smallest version of his collection.

Today, the desk is at his family residence in Los Angeles, but the collection is kept nearby, in two adjoining homes filled with more than 10,000 books, toys, artworks, movie props and other macabre artefacts. A reference library, a private museum, a place for the muse to strike, Del Toro calls his spooky second home, "Bleak House", after the Dickens novel. And it took him four years to organise this dark space.
There are props and other items from his movies including Pacific Rim, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone and the TV horror series The Strain. There are original works by artists including HR Giger, Edward Gorey, Arthur Rackham, Robert Crumb and Moebius.
  • The Angel of Death from the movie "Hellboy II: The Golden Army"
  • Monster from the "Pan’s Labyrinth"
Fortunately, Bleak House is not a distraction from work; it’s his most valuable resource. He writes in the "rain room", which features a false window designed to appear as if a storm outside is battering the panes — a shortcut to the melancholy fantasy worlds in which his movies take place.

In addition, in the "Dark House" you can find wax figures of Howard Lovecraft and Edgar Poe, watch one of the 7,000 films collected here or retire in one of the 13 library rooms in which the books are divided by subject (and many of them are used by the director).
  • Library with figures of Lovecraft and Edgar Poe
  • "Rain room" in Bleak House
In 2016, del Toro decided to part with a small part of his grandiose collection for an exhibition at the LACMA museum, then the exhibition has moved to Toronto, and later had to go to Mexico City and Europe. It is not known whether these plans will come true, since it is very difficult for the director to part even with 400 exhibits borrowed from him. He says: "When I enter the house and do not see Frankenstein’s head above the entrance, it’s just terrible for me."
Del Toro is generally very sensitive to his collection, even cleaning the "Dark House" conducts its own. "To start with, I had somebody come to help me do the dusting every week, but they broke a few sculptures that I haven’t been able to replace, so I don’t do that anymore. There’s one sculpture they broke the finger off, and it’s glued but there’s a hairline crack on the finger, and every time I walk by it, I think of that crack.'

His family has a love-hate relationship with his collection, he admits. "My wife likes it. We stay at Bleak House when we are in LA together. But my children are, at best, ambivalent.
Del Toro’s Collection in Bleak House
Based on materials from NY Times, Independent, SlashFilm.

Title illustration: Concept art for del Toro’s Pinocchio