Guillermo Del Toro Recruits Patrick McHale For Stop-Motion Pinocchio Movie


It seems the success of Guillermo del Toro and Netflix’s Trollhunters series has reignited the filmmaker’s desire to craft his stop-motion Pinocchio movie, after del Toro revealed to Collider that he’s now recruited Over the Garden Wall creator Patrick McHale as co-writer.

Having spent years working as a producer for DreamWorks Animation, del Toro’s credits include everything from Puss in Boots to last year’s King Fu Panda 3, and the illustrious director is now ready to call upon that experience to resuscitate his shelved Pinocchio film.

“There are a lot of things that are still percolating, but as far as I’m concerned, I am still planning to do my first animated feature as a director. It’s been an apprenticeship with DreamWorks the last seven years with Jeffrey [Katzenberg]. I was as close to him as I could and I was on the production of Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda 3 and so forth because I’m preparing to, more and more, direct animation. The normal route is that animation directors want to go live-action, I want to be able to transit both mediums, live-action and animation.”

One glance into the We Got This Covered archives will tell you that Guillermo Del Toro’s percolating fantasy feature isn’t the only Pinocchio-themed project simmering on the brink of development. Warner Bros. and Robert Downey Jr. have struck a deal to bring Carlo Collodi’s loveable creation to the big screen – last we reported, Ron Howard was in contention to direct that one – while Disney is reportedly weighing the option of adding Pinocchio to the studio’s ever-growing list of live-action remakes.

For del Toro, Pinocchio represents the chance for the filmmaker to make his stop-motion debut, and if Trollhunters offered yet another taste of his boundless imagination, it’s small wonder why the director’s interest in the project has garnered so much excitement.

“I’m preparing, also, my first stop-motion animation feature with Pinocchio, which I’ve been trying to get off the ground for a while, but I haven’t been able yet. But the last news on Pinocchio, which was very, very useful for me, was that I was looking for a co-writer who could be a great partner for me on this, and I’m happy to say that Patrick McHale from Over the Garden Wall is going to co-write the new draft of the screenplay with me.”

Aside from his stop-motion Pinocchio, del Toro also has a hand in Pacific: Rim Uprising, Cold War drama The Shape of Water and, potentially, Hellboy 3. Beyond the film industry, he’s also attached to Kojima Productions’ upcoming PS4 exclusive, Death Stranding.