There are two Pinocchio projects in play right now — the live-action Disney film directed by Robert Zemeckis and probably starring Tom Hanks, and the stop-motion animated version that Guillermo del Toro’s been making for Netflix. The latter just added a ton of star power with its full cast announcement today.
Del Toro’s Pinocchio, which is also a musical, takes inspiration from the original Carlo Collodi fairy tale, though it’s set in Mussolini-era Italy. Ready for the voice cast? We’ve got Ewan McGregor as Cricket, David Bradley (whose many credits include Walder Frey on Game of Thrones) as Geppetto, and newcomer Gregory Mann (whose sole screen credit so far is Cats, but we won’t hold that against him) as Pinocchio. Netflix didn’t share which roles they’d be playing, but also named (deep breath) Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson, and Burn Gorman as other members of the cast.
Interestingly, the Netflix press release sharing this news noted that Pinocchio — which is being directed by del Toro and animator Mark Gustafson — began principal photography “last fall” and that “production has continued uninterrupted during the pandemic,” which is excellent news considering how time-consuming stop-motion animation is known to be. (That said, no release date has been shared.)
In the release, del Toro expressed his excitement over the film. “After years of pursuing this dream project, I found my perfect partner in Netflix. We have spent a long time curating a remarkable cast and crew and have been blessed by continuous support from Netflix to quietly and carefully soldier on, barely missing a beat. We all love and practice animation with great passion and believe it to be the ideal medium to retell this classic story in a completely new way.”