Since winning the Academy Award for Best Director this year, Guillermo del Toro's career has just kept growing.
The Shape of Water director is set to helm a new stop-motion animated musical version of Pinocchio for Netflix, which will be set in Italy during the rise of fascism, writes The Hollywood Reporter. Del Toro says Pinocchio will be portrayed as an innocent soul who embarks on a journey in a world he does not understand, and along the way learns to understand his uncaring father. Del Toro also said in a statement that he feels a deeper personal connection with Pinocchio than with any other fictional character.
In fact, del Toro has been trying to make this movie for many, many years, but as recently as last November, he said it wasn't happening anymore. Then, a few months later, he won the Oscar for Best Director, and his film The Shape of Water won Best Picture, allowing him to leverage this success into financing his dream project. In his statement, del Toro emphasized that he's excited to direct an animated film for the first time, though he has previously produced stop-motion films like The Book of Life. Del Toro has hired the company that made the puppets for Tim Burton's Corpse Bride to make figurines for Pinocchio, and the Jim Henson Company will produce.
This del Toro film is completely unrelated to the live-action version of Pinocchio that Disney is currently making as part of its new slate of live-action remakes including The Lion King and Aladdin. The Disney version will be directed by Paddington's Paul King. Del Toro's Pinocchio is expected to begin production this fall, while Disney's reportedly won't start shooting until next year, so it looks like Netflix might beat Disney to the punch.