Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Guillermo Del Toro's stop-motion Pinocchio sets its frankly ridiculous cast

Photo credits from top left, clockwise to bottom-left: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images, David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for BFI, Joe Scarnici/FilmMagic/Getty Images, Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images, Noam Galai/Getty Images, Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images, Gary Gershoff/Getty Images, Isa Foltin/WireImage/Getty Images
Photo credits from top left, clockwise to bottom-left: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images, David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for BFI, Joe Scarnici/FilmMagic/Getty Images, Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images, Noam Galai/Getty Images, Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images, Gary Gershoff/Getty Images, Isa Foltin/WireImage/Getty Images
Graphic: The A.V. Club

Among the grand pantheon of Movies Guillermo Del Toro Swears He’s Going To Get Around To Making, One Of These Days, the director’s long-fabled production of Pinocchio has got to be somewhere near the top. (It’s no At The Mountains Of Madness, sure, but considering that the project dates back to 2008 or so, it’s still a pretty long stretch of make-believe.) Now, though, it looks like Del Toro’s stop-motion adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s 1883 classic is well and truly moving forward, courtesy of Netflix—and, damn, but that’s a good cast for a Pinocchio movie.

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Aside from newcomer Gregory Mann as the wooden child himself, the cast list released by Netflix today is pretty much just a big ol’ bucket of ringers, from Ewan McGregor as “The Talking Cricket,” to Tilda Swinton as “The Fairy With Turquoise Hair,” to Christoph Waltz as the malevolent Fox and Cat. Counting Waltz, Swinton, and Cate Blanchett (in a not-yet-announced part), that’s three Oscar winners right there, to say nothing of John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, Finn Wolfhard, and Burn Gorman—plus Harry Potter alum David Bradley as Gepetto, and Del Toro favorite Ron Perlman as evil puppet master Mangiafuoco. (That’s mid-movie bad guyStromboli, if you’re only familiar with the Disney movie.)

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If this were anybody else’s take on the story, we’d argue that this cast is probably Too Damn Good for a Pinocchio movie. (After all, isn’t a part as bland as Geppetto more Drew Carey’s speed?) But Del Toro—who hasn’t directed a movie since his 2017 Best Picture winner The Shape Of Water—has definitely earned some reciprocal passion for his passion projects like this, especially since his take on the film (set during Mussolini’s Italy, and co-directed by The Fantastic Mr. Fox’s Mark Gustafson) sounds legitimately fascinating, to boot.

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