Netflix Is Creating A Darker Version of Disney Classic Pinocchio
Netflix has announced it has hired Guillermo del Toro to make a reboot of the children's tale Pinocchio.
His version of the Disney classic will be a stop-motion animated musical set in Italy during the 1930s, a setting which witnessed the rise of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
Del Toro previously explored themes of fascism and totalitarianism in The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth, which were both set in Francisco Franco's Spain.
The new film will be a darker adaptation of Carlo Collodi's original 1883 book The Adventures of Pinocchio, rather than the Disney version.
The project, which will be directed by Paddington's Paul King, will see del Toro work alongside the Jim Henson Company and Bojack Horseman creators ShadowMachine.
Animation producers and puppet makers Mackinnon & Saunders, which built the puppets for Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, will also work on the film.
Mark Gustafson, who worked on Fantastic Mr Fox, will co-direct.
In a statement, del Toro said: "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.
"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."
The Pinocchio remake has been on the cards for years, but has only just been given the green light.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in 2012, del Toro said he was going for a "PG-13" feel in the remake.
"More adolescent, more teenage. I hesitate to say just darker, because it's not just darker. It is a tale that is adapted to a more complex reality, more complex ethical questions. It's more a tale for youth than a tale for just kids," he said, adding there would be scares.
"But even the original book and the Disney version are pretty scary. I think the moments where they go to Pleasure Island, even in the original animated movie, it was pretty intense.
"When I was a kid I was absolutely horrified. It will be much more intense in our version."
Earlier this year, del Toro's films The Shape of Water won Best Picture and Best Director at the Academy Awards.
He previously worked with Netflix on its Emmy Award-winning fantasy series Trollhunters.
Production on the new Pinocchio is set to start within a few months but no release date has been announced.
Featured Image Credit: Disney