Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Pinocchio’ Netflix Movie: Everything we know so far

guillermo del toro pinnochio netflix

A dark reimaging of the classic fable Pinocchio is headed to Netflix from Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson and Patrick McHale. Here’s an update guide to everything we know about the animation project which now isn’t expected on Netflix until 2022. 

It’s first worth noting that Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro has been a project on his docket for quite some time as we’ll talk you through below. Hopefully, however, many of his interviews still remain relevant in terms of what we can expect.

The movie first began its life in 2011 (although it was originally first conceived in 2010) when it was announced a stop-motion animated movie was on the way with Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins writing the movie and Gris Grimly and Mark Gustafson directing. The darker story of Pinnochio would be based on the book that released in 2002 which was illustrated by Gris Grimly.

Pinocchio illustration – Picture: Gris Grimly

Fast forward multiple years of production including Gris Grimly dropping out, Del Toro taking over the lead and The Jim Henson Company stepping in to help with production. In November 2017, it was thought the project was dead and Del Toro even announced it as such.

Netflix finally announced in October 2018 that it would be releasing the movie.

When is Pinocchio coming to Netflix?

For the longest time, the film was scheduled to come out in 2021 however that no longer seems to be the case. According to Matt Neglia from NextBestPicture (who lists the movie among those most likely to get big nominations at the awards shows), the movie has been pushed into 2022. As we’ll get into shortly, a delayed production schedule due to COVID-19 could be the issue.



Why is Pinocchio taking so long to produce?

Put simply, it’s a huge project that requires lots of time. Stop motion movies are notoriously expensive and time-consuming to make. Just see the time-lapse of Kubo and the Two Strings below to see how much goes into a small section of the movie.

Pre-production (according to IMDb) started in March 2019 with all the filming taking place in Portland, Oregon it’s then believed the movie actually began physical production in January 2020 before entering post-production in June 2021.

What we know so far about Pinocchio

In an interview from 2015, Guillermo was asked about the project while promoting Crimson Peak. Guillermo del Toro talks to HeyUGuys who tells them that he’s really using the source material that’s “strange in a disturbing way” when comparing to the Disney movie.

“We’re bringing back some of the fairytale charms of the book”. He also speaks a little that it’ll be touching on the history of when the book was written specifically the politics of the era.

That was reiterated in October 2018 when Del Toro said the following:

“It’s not a Pinocchio for all the family. Of course [it’s a political film]. Pinocchio during the rise of Mussolini, do the math. A puppet during the rise of fascism.”

Who’s working on and voicing in Pinocchio for Netflix?

For most, Guillermo del Toro is the big draw on this project and will serve as the director and writer of the screenplay.

This is a real passion project for the prolific creator saying in October 2018:

“No single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio…I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember.”

Guillermo del Toro has worked on numerous Netflix projects in the past and continues to work on new ones in the future as part of a broad output deal with Netflix. His next project after Pinnochio is expected to be 10 After Midnight.

Beyond that, you can watch some of his other work Netflix right now with the Dreamworks Tales of Arcadia universe which has seen Trollhuners, 3Below, Wizards and the recent movie too. He also had involvement in Netflix’s docuseries Five Came Back.

Among the other writers for the movie include Gris Grimly, Patrick McHale, and Matthew Robbins.

Carlo Collodi is also listed as one of the writers for the movie but of course, his main role was supplying the source material.

In February 2020, we got word of the first three-voice cast additions. Voicing characters in Netflix’s Pinnochio include Ron Pearlman, Christopher Waltz, and David Bradley. David Bradley is thought to be voicing the character of Geppetto.

On February 17th, two more actors were attached to the project. These come in the form of Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton who have both been added to the cast.

In addition, a huge array of puppeteers, set designers and animators are currently listed on the project.

ShadowMachine is one of the studios behind the project as is the world-renowned Jim Henson Company.

Mackinnon and Saunders are involved with the puppet designs behind the movie who have been involved with Bob the Builder and most notably, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.

What Pinocchio on Netflix will look like

Some first look screens first came out in 2012 and to date, they’re the only screenshots we’ve had so far but they look incredible.

Pinnochio coming soon to Netflix in 2021

Is Disney making a Pinocchio film too?

Netflix will be going up against Pinnochio from Disney who is most known for its involvement in the IP. Robert Zemeckis is on board to direct the movie which is planned to be a lot more family-friendly than the version we’re talking about here.

Release for the Disney reboot has yet to be announced but there have been rumors swirling about the possibility of it being a Disney+ movie as opposed to a full theatrical release.

If you’re wondering why Netflix is able to even make a movie about this character, it’s because Pinocchio now resides in the public domain.

Are you looking forward to Netflix’s new vision for Pinocchio? Let us know in the comments.

Kasey Moore

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Covering Netflix since 2013, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for close to a decade. Resides in the United Kingdom. Favorite shows on Netflix includes Mindhunter, Love, Death and Robots and Stranger Things.