Fans of Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro are in for a treat this holiday season. This winter, Del Toro is taking audiences into the magical stop-motion world of Pinocchio, with the Pan’s Labyrinth director’s signature dark fairy tale spin. As the release date draws nearer a brand-new key art poster has been released that gives us just a taste of the fantasy musical’s whimsy.
To stir up excitement after the film’s five years of production, a sneak peek of several images of Pinocchio was revealed in June, and most recently a full trailer. In the poster art, the living puppet is front and center, touched by sunlight. Based on the original novel by Italian author Carlo Collodi, Del Toro‘s reimagining will recall the darker elements of Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein, which the director points out is quite similar to the Italian fairytale. With this in mind, fans can expect a deviation from the 1940 Disney adaptation, including the ever-growing nose when Pinocchio tells a lie. In Collodi‘s novel, the puppet’s pine nose ever only grows once, and throughout the trailer, it appears to remain the same size. The Pinocchio on the poster depicts a nose branching off with new sprigs, while Sebastian J. Cricket (Ewan McGregor) plays the violin.
In an interview with Collider, Del Toro spoke on his inspiration, emotional aspects of bringing this mischievous puppet to life, and what that means to him:
“It’s a very very very personal movie for me. The flip-side for me [has] always been Pinocchio and Frankenstein, are the same story. Because essentially, that’s the same story. The idea of a Pinocchio that talks about things that I consider very deep but it’s fun and it’s a musical at the same time, I find it really incredibly moving. Obviously, in animation, you get to see the movie in storyboards beginning to end many many times, and then you add the stop-motion. Right now, we are 50% animated and 50% in storyboards. Every time I watch the movie I just sob like a baby. It’s as personal as it gets, as moving as it gets. It’s unlike any version of the story you’ve ever seen. It’s completely unlike it. It subverts the moral underpinnings of the original fable, which is, in order to be a real boy you have to change. You’re going to become flesh and blood. This is about becoming a real boy by acting…acting like a real human, period.”
Del Toro‘s retelling will stay true to the core elements of what makes Pinocchio a timeless tale, with his own dark fantasy blended into the fantastical stop-motion film. The movie will highlight the grief that follows the loss of a child, and the imperfections of humanity, as told by the journaling of McGregor‘s J. Cricket. Del Toro will introduce a mythos to the Disney-fied Blue Fairy, referring to the magic of Geppetto’s (David Bradley) gifted second chance as the intervention of “old spirits.” The trailer and poster are full of wonder, all narrated by the wise old cricket, and spun together by a director notorious for his tastefully twisted take on legends and lore.
Pinocchio features an all-star cast to voice the classic characters, like McGregor as Cricket, Game of Thrones‘ Bradley as the grieving woodcarver Geppetto, Stranger Things‘ Finn Wolfhard as Candlewick, and Academy Award-winner Cate Blanchett as Sprezzatura. Additionally, the cast features Academy Award-winners Christoph Waltz as Count Volpe and Tilda Swinton, Ron Perlman as Podesta, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, Burn Gorman, and introducing Gregory Mann as Pinocchio.
The film is directed by Del Toro and Mark Gustafson, with a screenplay adapted by Del Toro and Patrick McHale. Producers for Pinocchio include Del Toro, Gary Ungar, Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Lisa Henson of Jim Henson Company.
Pinocchio will arrive in select theaters in November, before its wide release on Netflix in December. You can check out the brand-new poster art and watch the trailer below: