Pinocchio Lives

Two very different film versions of the children’s novel by Carlo Collodi first published in 1883 are about to go into production. And neither of them will look even a bit like the animated 1940 Disney version that generations of children have enjoyed over the years.

Oscar winning actor Roberto Benigni (Life Is Beautiful) will star as Geppetto in director Matteo Garrone’s (Gomorrah and Dogman) live action version of Pinocchio. From Deadline Hollywood:

Garrone will direct his own screenplay, an adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s classic about a living puppet who with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy. Geppetto is the puppet’s creator. Benigni wrote, directed as starred as the title character in a 2002 live-action version of Pinocchio.

The film is an international co-production between Italy and France, produced by Matteo Garrone’s Archimede Films, Rai Cinema and Jean Labadie’s Le Pacte, with Jeremy Thomas’ Recorded Picture Company. HanWay Films reps world rights. Rai Cinema will release the film in Italy, and Le Pacte in France. Shooting starts in the first quarter of 2019 on location in Italy across Lazio, Tuscany and Puglia.

In a completely different vision based on the same source material, Oscar winning writer and director Guillermo del Toro will co-create a stop-motion version of Pinocchio for Netflix. But don’t expect it to be aimed at kids. Again from Deadline Hollywood:

In his first feature deal to direct since The Shape of Water won him Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director, Guillermo del Toro has made a deal with Netflix to co-direct his stop-motion animated passion project Pinocchio. Del Toro has pined to make a darker version of the wooden boy tale for the past decade. He has written the script with Patrick McHale (Over the Garden Wall and Adventure Time), and will co-direct with Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox). Guy Davis will serve as co-production designer, taking inspiration for the Pinocchio character from Gris Grimly’s original designs drawn from Carlo Collodi’s 1883 novel The Adventures of Pinocchio.

Del Toro’s film will be a musical set in Italy during the turbulent 1930s. This collision of innocence in a political environment of repression and growing fascism is reminiscent of the construct of his Oscar-winning Pan’s Labyrinth, a spectacular fable set in the backdrop of Francoist Spain in 1944.

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