Guillermo del Toro opens up about his now-defunct dark take on Pinocchio

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Mar 26, 2021, 4:00 PM EDT (Updated)

Guillermo del Toro has always been an ambitious director, from the giant robot madness of Pacific Rim to the Lovecraftian weirdness of his potential adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness. He's a guy with big ideas, and it's part of why he's so beloved among fandom. 

One of those big ideas was a new take on Pinocchio, the classic fairy tale made into a classic Disney film decades ago. Del Toro, who recently announced a yearlong hiatus from the director's chair, has now revealed that the project will not happen. He did, however, reveal a little to IGN about where his focus would've been had the film come to fruition. 

“It’s not happening,” del Toro said, adding, “But the idea was to do Pinocchio during the ascension of fascism in Italy, with Mussolini. It was a good time to discuss the idea of being a puppet or being a human, but you know, it’s not in progress.”

That is, as we would expect from del Toro, a very big idea that would've taken a character most of us know as a cartoon and transformed it into something politically provocative. Sadly, Del Toro seems resigned to understanding that the project won't get off the ground. What he does seem excited about, though, is his hiatus. As a man who's been developing and making films constantly since Cronos landed in 1993, he's embracing the freedom of uncertainty.

“I’m 53, I want to not know what I’m doing next, it’s like a privilege," del Toro said. “That’s why I’m taking the year off, as a director, to really think about what I’m doing next. All of those projects, some of them happen and some of them don’t. The natural state of a movie is not to happen. That’s the reality.”

Del Toro's next film, The Shape of Water, lands in theaters Dec. 8.