Good news, kids: Guillermo del Toro is making a new movie! For the first time ever, audiences will get to watch a film telling the tale of Pinocchio ... and it's going be dark as hell.
After over a decade of the project slowly decomposing on his shelf, del Toro announced in late October that he and Netflix were finally making his stop-motion Pinocchio movie set in 1930s Italy "during the rise of fascism." And while everyone knows that buying a kid a ticket to a del Toro movie comes with a 10 percent off coupon for therapy, people have been wondering exactly how mature this rendition of Pinocchio and the fascists will be.
Well, during a recent Q&A at the Marrakech Film Festival, del Toro assured people that the movie will be very adult indeed. "It's not a Pinocchio for all the family," he felt the need to say aloud of his story about a less-than-human child living under the reign of an Axis power.
But while political otherness will feature heavily in the film, that's apparently not going to be the focal point of its dark nature. That would instead be Pinocchio being a wretched abomination with no soul. Del Toro sees Pinocchio more like a pint-sized Frankenstein's monster. In this, he gets much closer to the spirit of the original, disturbing book about the wooden boy.
Author Carlo Collodi, who wrote Pinocchio in 1881-1882, came from the Grimm school of children's book authors who secretly hate children and want them to be miserable and obedient. In the original tale, Pinocchio is less of a splintery Disney protagonist and more a tortured wood golem who murders Jiminy Cricket with a hammer, gets his flesh ripped off by ravenous fish, and is hanged by a mob in what was originally the end of the story. Honestly, it's puzzling there aren't more fan theories about how the killer from Saw is an adult Pinocchio who learned all the wrong crafting lessons in Geppetto's workshop.
Still, we're most excited about the "Pinocchio during the rise of Mussolini" part of the pitch, as it will open the mainstream to that rarest of Disney fanfic: alternate historical fiction. So be on the lookout for future film deals like "Mulan in the Cultural Revolution," "Frozen during the viking conquest of Britain," and "The Lion King, but Timon is actually a reincarnated meerkat Hitler."
For excerpts from Cedric's saga "What If The Monsters From Monsters Inc. Had Won The Civil War?" you can follow him on Twitter.
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