New 'Pinocchio' Movie Coming to Netflix, Guillermo del Toro to Direct

A stop-motion animation version of Pinocchio is coming to Netflix from Guillermo del Toro, marking the Oscar winner's first time directing an animated picture.

Deadline reports that del Toro has been interested in making a darker version of the classic tale for years now, and while his take will keep the origin story of the puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy, it will take a different tone than the 1940 Disney film.

The Netflix version will be a musical set in 1930s Italy, combining Pinnochio's innocence with the turbulent political nature of the period. Production on the movie will begin this fall.

“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 statement. "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," he continued. "After the incredible experience we have had on Trollhunters, I am grateful that the talented team at Netflix is giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to introduce audiences everywhere to my version of this strange puppet-turned-real-boy.”

The deal is the filmmaker's first for a feature film since winning an Academy Award for directing The Shape of Water this year. He has previously worked with Netflix on the Emmy-winning series Trollhunters, which is the first installment of DreamWorks’ Tales of Arcadia trilogy. The second chapter is titled 3Below and will debut on Dec. 21, while the third chapter, Wizards, is set to arrive in 2019.

The director is also working on the upcoming Netflix horror anthology series, Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight.

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Pinocchio is the latest in a string of classic children's films to receive the remake treatment, with Disney having released live-action updates on Beauty & the Beast, Cinderella and The Jungle Book in recent years. Disney also reimagined the story of Sleeping Beauty with the live-action Maleficent, which will soon see a sequel. Next year, the company will release a live-action version of Aladdin and is currently working on live-action versions of The Lion King, Mulan and The Little Mermaid.

Photo Credit: Disney