Newcomer Gregory Mann will star as Pinocchio, with McGregor as Cricket and Bradley as Geppetto. Other cast members include Christoph Waltz, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson and Burn Gorman.
“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,” del Toro said on Wednesday.
The film, first announced in 2018, will be set during the rise of fascism in Mussolini’s Italy during the 1930s. It tells a story of love and disobedience as Pinocchio struggles to live up to his father’s expectations.
The film is directed by del Toro and Mark Gustafson from a script by del Toro and Patrick McHale. The song lyrics are by del Toro and Katz, with music by Alexandre Desplat, who will also write the score. Gris Grimly created the original design for the Pinocchio character.
“Pinocchio” is produced by del Toro, The Jim Henson Company’s Lisa Henson, ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley and Corey Campodonico, and Exile Entertainment’s Gary Ungar. It’s co-produced by Blanca Lista of The Jim Henson Company and Gris Grimly. Principal photography began last fall at ShadowMachine’s Portland studio, and production has continued uninterrupted during the pandemic.
The Netflix announcement comes two weeks after Disney confirmed it was in early talks with Tom Hanks to play Geppetto in Disney’s live-action version of “Pinocchio.” Robert Zemickis is on board to direct the project, the latest in a long line of live-action remakes of Disney animated movies such as “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King.”