Del Toro to Co-Direct 3D Stop Motion PINOCCHIO

Long in development adaptation moves one step closer to production.

Guillermo Del Toro has decided to step behind the camera for the long-gesting stop-motion animated adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s legendary tale of ‘Pinocchio.’ The ‘Hellboy’ helmer will co-direct the film with ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox’ animation director Mark Gustafson.

From a story by Del Toro, frequent collaborator Matthew Robbins and Gris Grimly, who illustrated a 2002 version of ‘Pinocchio,’ the film follows the wooden puppet “as he embarks on a series of adventures and proves himself to be as indestructible as his love for his father.”

Del Toro, who is currently in post-production on his blockbuster mech vs. alien actioner ‘Pacific Rim,’ was originally attached as a producer but come around to the idea of co-directing due to the scale and complexity of the project. The filmmaker is “is planning to work on a re-design,” with the film expected to take a year to shoot. Production is slated to begin next summer.

‘Pinocchio’ will be produced by The Jim Henson Company along with Del Toro and Jason Lust (‘Whip It’). Grimly and Gary Ungar will serve as executive producers as will Bill Johnson and Jim Seibel of Inferno Entertainment. Nick Cave will serve as music consultant.