Guillermo Del Toro and The Jim Henson Company are teaming up with Pathe for a new Pinocchio. The project has every element of an amazing film: 3D, stop motion, The Jim Henson Company, music by Nick Cave, the man that brought us Pan's Labyrinth, and the studio that designed the puppets for The Fantastic Mr. Fox. That's 10 pounds of awesome in a 5 pound bag. Production on the film starts later this year. Mark Gustafson will co-direct with Gris Grimly, based on the 2002 book adapation of Pinocchio that Grimly illustrated. Del Toro, who wrote the script, had this to say about the film:
“There has to be darkness in any fairy tale or children’s narrative work, something the BrothersGrimm, Hans Christian Anderson and Walt Disney understood,” del Toro said. “We tend to call something Disney-fied, but a lot of people forget how powerfully disturbing the best animated Disney movies are, including those kids being turned into donkeys in Pinocchio. What we’re trying to do is present a Pinocchio that is more faithful to the take that Colodi wrote. That is more surreal and slightly darker than what we’ve seen before.”

For instance: “the Blue Fairy is really a dead girl’s spirit,” del Toro said. “Pinocchio has strange moments of lucid dreaming bordering on hallucinations, with black rabbits. The sperm whale that swallows Pinocchio was actually a giant dogfish, which allows for more classical scale and design. The many mishaps Pinocchio goes through include several near-death close calls, a lot more harrowing moments. The key with this is not making any of it feel gratuitous, because the story is integrated with moments of comedy and beauty. He’s one of the great characters, whose purity and innocence allows him to survive in this bleak landscape of robbers and thugs, emerging from the darkness with his soul intact.”

Larger concept art images from the film are below. (Deadline)