Guillermo del Toro has been working on a stop-motion version of Pinocchio for close to a decade, and in 2018, he found a home for the project in Netflix, which is the closest thing we have to Stromboli’s nefarious content factory. And today, Netflix announced the cast of the upcoming film: “Newcomer Gregory Mann” will voice Pinocchio, Ewan McGregor will play Cricket (no Jiminy), and David Bradley, whom you may know from Harry Potter as Argus Filch, will play Geppetto. The rest of the cast will include Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson, and Burn Gorman. Waltz already essentially played Geppetto in Alita: Battle Angel, and he’s played a sort of Coachman in Django Unchained, so he’s a natural fit. We’d love to see Tim Blake Nelson and John Turturro as the dastardly actors, Finn Wolfhard in Goldfinch mode as a streetwise donkey-boy, and Tilda as the Blue Fairy, but we’ll have to wait and see what Guillermo has in store for the rest of the cast. This casting announcement comes shortly after the news that Tom Hanks is in negotiations to play a much cuddlier-sounding Geppetto in Disney’s live-action Pinocchio film, directed by Robert Zemeckis.
Netflix also released some more information about the premise — it will be set “during the rise of Fascism in Mussolini’s Italy” — so it’s already distancing itself from Disney’s competing Pinocchio project, which most likely won’t have a Gestapo element, knowing Disney. Netflix also announced that Alexandre Desplat will provide the score, with Fantastic Mr. Fox’s stop-motion genius Mark Gustafson co-directing. No word, though, on whether or not Pinocchio will follow in the webbed footsteps of del Toro’s Best Picture winner The Shape of Water, and have Monstro the whale fuck.