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Guillermo del Toro co-directing 3D stop-motion 'Pinocchio' for Jim Henson Co.
Guillermo Del Toro is setting his sights on animation.
The busy multi-hyphenate will co-direct "Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio" as a 3D stop-motion animated film with the Jim Henson Company.
While it was previously known that Del Toro was planning a Pinnochio project with Henson and illustrator Gris Grimly, this is the first news that he will be directing. Earlier, Grimly and Adam Parrish King were attached to co-direct, according to Variety.
Now, Del Toro's co-director on the project will be Mark Gustafson, who was the animation director on Wes Anderson's "The Fantastic Mr. Fox."
It will be the first time Del Toro has helmed an animated feature, although he acted as exec producer of various DreamWorks projects, including "Puss in Boots," "Kung Fu Panda 2" and the upcoming "Rise of the Guardians."
The new take on the classic fairy tale will take place in Italy between the world wars where the puppet Pinocchio will find himself caught up in a number of adventures, all the while hoping to become a real boy.
Del Toro worked up the story with Grimly and Matthew Robbins. The latter penned the screenplay. Robbins and Del Toro previously teamed for "Mimic," "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" and the scuttled H.P. Lovecraft adaptation "At the Mountains of Madness."
Music fans take note: Not only will Nick Cave being acting as the film's music consultant, but del Toro is also considering hiring gravel-voiced crooner Tom Waits to play Pinocchio's father, Gepetto. The director is also eyeing "The Hunger Games'" Donald Sutherland for a different role. However, no casting decisions have been finalized. The film will likely won't begin shooting until the summer of 2013.
Del Toro, probably best known for the "Hellboy" films and "Pan's Labyrinth," is currently wrapping "Pacific Rim," with Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba. He also recently signed on for a new "Beauty and the Beast" with "Harry Potter" co-star Emma Watson.
The 19th century character has been translated to the big screen numerous times, most notably in Disney's 1940 animated film "Pinocchio." More recently, Roberto Benigni directed and starred in a live-action version in 2002.