Netflix, which produces Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson's musical animated fantasy Pinocchio, has announced the cast of the project.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, in the original version of the film, aspiring actor Gregory Mann will give his voice to the protagonist, who previously performed small roles in the film "The Club of Books and Potato Peel Pie Pies" and the TV series "Victoria". Master Geppetto will be voiced by David Bradley (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones). Also, Tilda Swinton (she got the role of the Blue Fairy), Cate Blanchett, Tim Blake Nelson, Finn Wolfard, Christoph Waltz, John Turturro, Ron Perlman and Bern Gorman joined the cast of the project.

Earlier it became known that the Talking Cricket in the film will be voiced by Ewan McGregor. 

Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson is a reinterpretation of the original tale by Carlo Collodi, first published in 1881. In a new interpretation, events unfold in Italy in the 1930s, during the reign of Benito Mussolini and the establishment of a fascist dictatorship.

According to Del Toro, the new Pinocchio is not a film for the whole family, but a political parable. The director has already stressed that he is not going to create an overtly political picture, however, in his opinion, films shot in the fantasy genre always end with a political message.

“In real life, it is difficult to have productive discussions right now. It is much easier to listen to a person if he says: "A long time ago ...", - quotes the director of the Hollywood Reporter.

It is known that the new film will be much darker than the earlier adaptations of this story: the director compares the main character alone with the monster of Frankenstein. Del Toro notes that Pinocchio is "a creature that was born unnaturally thanks to the efforts of his father, from whom Pinocchio later moved away, and now he will have to experience failure, pain and loneliness."

Despite the seriousness of the topics raised and the political context, Guillermo del Toro decided to make his new project animated. Including because of the expressiveness of the dolls: according to the director, they are more expressive than people.

“It is the art of animation that has had the greatest impact on my life and work. In addition, with no other character I have felt such a deep personal connection as with Pinocchio. In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an indifferent father. He is lost in a world that is incapable of comprehending. Pinocchio embarks on an extraordinary journey that allows him to gain a deeper understanding of his father and the real world, ”the director told Deadline.

  • © Promo for the cartoon "Pinocchio" (2020)

Filming for Pinocchio started in the fall of 2019, but work on the project began much earlier. However, due to such an atypical approach to history, all Hollywood studios refused to take on the film. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was the first to take an interest in del Toro's new work.  

Matthew Robbins (The Sugarland Express), Patrick McHale (The Other Side of the Fence), Gris Grimley and del Toro himself worked on the script for the film. The film's composer is Alexander Desplat, who was awarded an Oscar for the soundtrack to the films The Shape of Water and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

“We spent a lot of time putting together a great cast and crew, and we also felt the continued support of Netflix, which allowed us to work calmly and thoroughly and virtually avoid downtime. We all love animation very much and work on animation projects with great enthusiasm. We believe that this is the perfect way to retell a classic fairy tale in a completely new way, "- quoted by the director Variety.

It is planned that the film will be released not only on the streaming service Netflix, but also in cinemas.

Other adaptations

The tale of Carlo Collodi “The Adventures of Pinocchio. The History of the Wooden Doll ”was filmed many times in different countries.

One of the most successful adaptations is considered to be the animated film "Pinocchio" by Disney studio (1940). The film won two Academy Awards. According to many experts, this picture has become one of the most beautiful and technically advanced of all Disney animation projects.

There are also several Soviet film adaptations of the world famous story. They are based on the story of A.N. Tolstoy's "The Golden Key, or The Adventures of Buratino", inspired by the plot of "Pinocchio". The most famous films about a wooden doll were "The Adventures of Buratino" in 1959 by Ivan Ivanov-Vano and Dmitry Babichenko, as well as a two-part film from 1975 by Leonid Nechaev with the same name.

The latest film adaptation of Pinocchio was released in March 2020. The film was directed by Matteo Garrone ("Scary Tales"). Dzepetto in it was played by the famous Italian actor Roberto Benigni, and Pinocchio - by Federico Ielapi. In his work, Garrone tried not only to retell a story familiar to everyone, diluting it with black humor, but to show what Italy looked like in those years.

It is already known that del Toro's animation will not put an end to the series of rethinking of Collodi's fairy tale: in early 2020, Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis announced plans to shoot a game remake of the classic Disney cartoon. The role of Gepetto in it can be played by Tom Hanks.