Guillermo del Toro's 'Pinocchio' Will Be a Political Parable

Don't expect the family-friendly treatment when it comes to Guillermo del Toro's upcoming take on Pinocchio. If you're looking for another sweet little tale of a wooden puppet who wants to be a real boy, we recommend sticking with the 1940 cartoon.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the director's spin on the classic story will not only be dark, but political.

"It's not a Pinocchio for all the family," del Toro says. When asked whether or not it would be political, the director gave a resounding "of course."

"Pinocchio during the rise of Mussolini, do the math," he added. The story is set in 1930s Italy, so del Toro is quick to remind future viewers that this is the tale of "a puppet during the rise of fascism."

The director also compared the character to Frankenstein's monster, saying: "He's a creature that is created through unnatural means from a father that he then distances [himself] from." He goes on to explain that Pinocchio "has to learn about failure and pain and loneliness."

del Toro typically sticks with the fantasy genre, which he believes to be a great way to convey political messages without being overt. "There's no fable without politics," he added.

The creative mind behind this year's Oscar-winner for Best Picture (The Shape of Water), went on to mention how the current political climate is "tense," so it's much easier for audiences to hear his point of view if he begins the story with "Once upon a time…"

Since he plans to take the movie in a dark direction (which is a refreshing take considering how many Disney classics are being revamped without any real change), the Mexican filmmaker had trouble finding a studio to make the film. Eventually, Netflix picked up the project, who also worked with del Toro on his animated series, Trollhunters.

del Toro also mentions that he plans to use stop-motion animation for the new film, because he feels it would be "more expressive" than actors.

In addition to Pinocchio, the creator has plenty of other projects in the works, with an untitled documentary about director Michael Mann currently in production. He also has six other projects in development, including a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde film.


del Toro's Pinocchio is expected to hit theaters in 2021.