Netflix unveils star-studded ensemble for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Netflix has unveiled the star-studded cast of Academy Award winner Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming stop-motion animated musical feature Pinocchio, which will feature newcomer Gregory Mann in the titular role alongside Ewan McGregor (Birds of Prey) as Jiminy Cricket and David Bradley (Harry Potter franchise) as Geppetto.
Drawing on the classic Carlo Collodi tale, this stop motion musical follows the extraordinary journey of a wooden boy magically brought to life by a father’s wish. Set during the rise of Fascism in Mussolini’s Italy, del Toro’s Pinocchio is a story of love and disobedience as Pinocchio struggles to live up to his father’s expectations.
“After years of pursuing this dream project, I found my perfect partner in Netflix,” del Toro said in a statement. “We have spent a long time curating a remarkable cast and crew and have been blessed by continuous support from Netflix to quietly and carefully soldier on, barely missing a beat. We all love and practice animation with great passion and believe it to be the ideal medium to retell this classic story in a completely new way.”
The film is directed by del Toro and Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) on a script penned by Del Toro and Patrick McHale (Adventure Time). The song lyrics are by del Toro and Katz, with music by Academy Award winner Alexandre Desplat who will also write the score. Gris Grimly created the original design for the Pinocchio character. The film’s puppets are being built by Mackinnon and Saunders (Corpse Bride).
Pinocchio is produced by del Toro, The Jim Henson Company’s Lisa Henson, ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley and Corey Campodonico, as well as Exile Entertainment’s Gary Ungar; it is co-produced by Blanca Lista of The Jim Henson Company and Gris Grimly. Other credits include production supervisor Melanie Coombs, co-production designers Guy Davis and Curt Enderle, animation supervisor Brian Hansen, puppet supervisor Georgina Hayns, director of photography Frank Passingham, art director Rob DeSue, and animatic editor Ken Schretzmann.
A lifelong passion project of del Toro, the film is set to debut in theaters and on Netflix. Principal photography began last Fall at ShadowMachine’s Portland, Oregon studio, and production has continued uninterrupted during the pandemic.