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There are no production strings on Guillermo del Toro with the first teaser for the Oscar-winner's stop-motion take on the classic tale of Pinocchio written by Carlo Collodi. The film — which del Toro co-directed with Fantastic Mr. Fox alum Mark Gustafson — will officially arrive on Netflix this December (odds are good the movie will also receive a limited theatrical release for Academy Awards consideration). In terms of the footage itself, the first trailer is pretty short, briefly introducing us to the character of Sebastian J. Cricket (voiced by Obi-Wan Kenobi's Ewan McGregor), the wise insect who actually lived inside the heart of the titular wooden boy and served as his conscience.
Gregory Mann (Victoria), David Bradley (Game of Thrones), Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer), Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds), Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Cate Blanchett (Nightmare Alley), John Turturro (Severance), Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Tim Blake Nelson (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs), and Burn Gorman (Pacific Rim) co-star.
Watch the teaser below:
Written by del Toro and Patrick McHale (Over the Garden Wall), this interpretation of the magic marionette with a growing nose is pretty far-removed from the classic Disney version (speaking of, the Mouse House is working on a live-action remake from director Robert Zemeckis). The story is said to take place in 1930s Italy and will track the rise of fascism under the rule of dictator Benito Mussolini.
As the nation grapples with its place in geopolitics in the run-up to World War II, the "mischievous and disobedient" Pinocchio gets up to all sorts of hijinks, yearning for his own place in the world, after he's brought to life by a grieving woodcarver named Geppetto.
"The impulse behind it comes from a particular view that Guillermo has of what Pinocchio is and the anarchy and chaos and how Guillermo thrills at the idea of the freedom that goes too far into chaos. He's very drawn into that. There is a celebration of that in our screenplay," screenwriter Matthew Robins (Crimson Peak), who was involved with the project in its earlier stages of development, told SYFY WIRE in 2020.
Robbins went on to explain that the look of the film was inspired by the illustrations of Gris Grimly and represents "Guillermo's particular vision of what Pinocchio represents in a fallen world. That is just not there in the Disney version. It's not depressing, it's sort of a celebration of the anarchy of this kid. You know enough about Pinocchio to know that he does everything: He spends the money, gets fooled, runs off with the circus, he makes mistakes. Wherever he goes, he leaves chaos in his wake and he sails on."
Lisa Henson, Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar serve as producers alongside del Toro (his involvement with this title goes all the way back to his Hobbit days in the late 2000s/early 2010s). Jason Lust is an executive producer.