×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

First Look at Roberto Benigni as Geppetto in Matteo Garrone’s ‘Pinocchio’

HanWay Films has released a first-look image of Oscar-winning actor/director Roberto Benigni as Mastro Geppetto in the live-action version of “Pinocchio,” directed by Matteo Garrone, which has started shooting in Italy.

Garrone’s ambitious pic, which will mark Benigni’s return to the big screen after a seven-year hiatus, started principal photography March 18, with an 11-week shoot planned in Tuscany, Puglia, and the Lazio region around Rome. 

Benigni, who won an Oscar for best actor in 1999 for “Life Is Beautiful,” which he also directed, last appeared in a cameo in Woody Allen’s “To Rome With Love” in 2012. In recent years, the beloved Italian showman has been active with his stage adaptation of Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” which toured in Italy and internationally.

News last October of Benigni’s casting to play Geppetto in Garrone’s “Pinocchio” came shortly after the announcement that Guillermo del Toro is making a stop-motion animated musical version for Netflix of Carlo Collodi’s classic about a puppet that comes to life. Del Toro has said his adaptation of the children’s classic will be set in Italy during the 1930s, when Fascism was on the rise, and that it will not be a family-friendly film.

Garrone, who is known for dark films such as gritty crime movie “Gomorrah,” has said that bringing “Pinocchio” to the screen is a dream he’s had since childhood and that his adaptation will be faithful to the original book by Collodi.

“I don’t know how dark it will be,” Garrone told Italian news agency ANSA, noting that he “would certainly like children to be part of the audience.”

In 2002, Benigni directed and played the lead role in his own live-action adaptation of “Pinocchio,” which flopped at the U.S. box office.

Other cast members in Garrone’s “Pinocchio” will include local stars Gigi Proietti as The Cat and Rocco Papaleo as The Fox.

Marcello Fonte, who won the best actor prize in Cannes last year as protagonist of Garrone’s “Dogman,” has been cast as The Parrot. Earlier this week “Dogman” swept Italy’s David Awards, the country’s top film prizes, scoring nine trophies.

Garrone’s “Pinocchio” is an international co-production between Italy and France, produced by Garrone’s Archimede Films, Rai Cinema and Jean Labadie’s Le Pacte, with Jeremy Thomas’ Recorded Picture Company and Leone Film Group.

HanWay Films will be handling international sales. Rai Cinema will release the film in Italy, and Le Pacte in France.

More Film

  • Crown Vic

    Thomas Jane's Police Thriller 'Crown Vic' Sells to Screen Media (EXCLUSIVE)

    Screen Media has bought North American rights to writer-director Joel Souza’s police crime-thriller “Crown Vic,” starring Thomas Jane and Luke Kleintank. The distributor closed terms during the Cannes Film Festival amid a competitive bidding situation between seven other suitors. Screen Media plans to release the pic this fall. “Crown Vic” premiered in April at the [...]

  • Colleen Bell

    Colleen Bell Replaces Amy Lemisch as California Film Commission Director

    Veteran entertainment executive and ambassador Colleen Bell will replace Amy Lemisch as director of the California Film Commission. Bell, who was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, has worked as a consultant since 2017. She was the U.S. ambassador to Hungary from 2014 to 2017. She held several positions at Bell-Phillip Television Productions, including [...]

  • Jon Feltheimer

    Lionsgate Posts Loss, Underperforms Wall Street Expectations

    Lionsgate has posted a quarterly loss and its revenues and operating income have come in under Wall Street projections, despite growth from its premium cable channel, Starz. The studio reported a net loss of $24 million, or 11 cents a share, with adjusted operating income of $103 million for its fourth fiscal quarter ended March [...]

  • Cannes: China's 'Summer of Changsha' Debuts

    Cannes: China's 'Summer of Changsha' Debuts Without Censorship Approval

    Chinese crime drama “Summer of Changsha” screened at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section despite lacking the necessary approvals from China’s censors. It premiered without its director or creative team in attendance, who blamed “technical reasons” for their absence — marking the third time that Chinese censorship appears to have caused [...]

  • Jane Austin SAG AFTRA

    SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin Running for President

    Jane Austin, the National Secretary-Treasurer of SAG-AFTRA, has become the third candidate for the presidency of the performers union, joining incumbent Gabrielle Carteris and Matthew Modine. Austin is running as an independent for the top post at SAG-AFTRA, which has 160,000 members. Carteris will seek re-election as the head of the ticket for the Unite [...]

  • John Wick Chapter 3

    'John Wick: Chapter 3' Tones Down the Blood and Gore to Keep Look 'Totally Real'

    When Jeff Campbell, a visual effects supervisor with VFX studio Spin, initially set to work on the first “John Wick,” the 2014 action thriller from director Chad Stahelski and writer Derek Kolstad, he started with an industry-standard test: Establish a single, simple kill effect meant to get a sense of the look of the violence [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content