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Matteo Garrone to Direct ‘Pinocchio’ Starring Toni Servillo

Matteo Garrone’s Archimede Productions, Jeremy Thomas’ Recorded Picture Company and Jean Labadie’s Le Pacte are teaming on a new adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s “Pinocchio.” Garrone will direct the film, which will star Toni Servillo as Pinocchio’s father, Geppetto.

HanWay Films is representing worldwide rights of the film, which will be unveiled to buyers at the American Film Market. RAI Cinema has acquired Italian rights while Le Pacte will release the film in France.

Garrone will direct from his own screenplay, an adaptation of Collodi’s story. The film starts shooting in the spring in locations across Lazio and Tuscany, Italy.

HanWay’s managing director Gabrielle Stewart said: “In Garrone we have a visionary filmmaker re-imagining one of the most famous stories in the world rarely revisited since the Disney classic. This is a true cinematic treat with a very special cast.”

Garrone “will create a unique fantasy world of mystery and wonder, with a story filled with luminous, funny and touching moments,” according to the statement. “[He] will realize the animals and fantastical creatures in Pinocchio’s world with an artisanal approach, blending prosthetics, special make-up and CGI. Digital effects will be aesthetically integrated with the actors’ make-up and layered over facial prosthetics, making the characters appear extraordinarily real.”

Servillo, one of Italy’s leading actors, starred in the Oscar-winning film “The Great Beauty,” and is also known for his roles in “One Man Up,” “The Consequences of Love” and “Il Divo.” In 2008, he won best actor at the European Film Awards for his roles in both “Gomorrah” and “Il Divo.”

Garrone has won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival twice — for “Gomorrah” in 2008, and “Reality” in 2011. His “Tale of Tales” premiered in competition at Cannes in 2015.

Garrone said: “’Pinocchio’ is a dream of mine that goes back in time, back to when I was a child. With this movie, I will complete my journey through the fairy-tale world that I started with ‘Tale of Tales.’ I hope this will be an evolution thanks to the experience I’ve gained. The love I feel for Pinocchio isn’t love at first sight. It’s a character I’ve always been drawn to, and many have noticed his influence both in ‘Gomorrah’ and ‘Reality.’”

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