Did you remember there’s two versions of Pinocchio we’re supposed to be graced with in 2022? One of them comes from Disney, obviously, but the other hails from acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro . The director of the recently released Nightmare Alley and Shape of Water has a new take on the classic character for Netflix that will certainly draw some attention when it releases next year, that’s for certain.
While speaking to Inverse about his long running relationship with del Toro, actor Ron Perlman talked about his involvement in the upcoming stop motion flick. Back in 2020, we learned this new take on the character (to be played by newcomer Gregory Mann) will be set in 1930s Italy during Benito Mussolini’s fascism, and Perlman gave some info on what that new setting will entail. “The conceit of the film is that Pinocchio is the perfect soldier because he’s not human. So he doesn’t ever question orders. He doesn’t have fears. He’s invulnerable.”
Pinocchio as a child soldier sounds pretty wild, and Perlman added that his character, Mangiafuoco, will serve as a dark mentor, like an evil Jiminy Cricket. “I play one of the city fathers who’s pro-fascist and who’s trying to manipulate Pinocchio into representing the cause.” Manipulating people is a role that Perlman is no stranger to, so it’s perfect casting. Because the future real boy is invulnerable and “all the things the perfect soldier needs to be,” of course fascists would want him on their side to help keep the regime in check.
Given how Perlman’s no stranger to playing dudes who manipulate people, you can call it pretty perfect casting. With how often del Toro’s work explores twisted family dynamics and complicated relationships, plus his tendency to set films during real human history, the new Pinocchio sounds like it’ll be worth watching. (At the very least, more than that Disney remake, which counts for a lot.) But of course, both movies will merely serve as appetizers until the real hot release: that Soulslike game where you’re Pinocchio with a flamethrower arm.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio will hit Netflix in late 2022.
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Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.