Guillermo del Toro and the Jim Henson Co. are working to develop a PINOCCHIO stop-motion feature with a darker tone, per VARIETY.
Henson Co. co-presidents Brian Henson and Lisa Henson will produce with SVP Jason Lust. Del Toro will exec produce. Del Toro revealed his involvement with the project on BLOODYDISGUSTING.com; saying he was working on the screenplay with Gris Grimly, who was the illustrator on 2002's PINOCCHIO. Grimly and Adam Parrish King will co-direct.
The tale of the puppet who becomes a boy first appeared in the 19th century book THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO. Disney's second animated feature in 1940 was the first film adaptation of the story.
In the early 1990s, Francis Ford Coppola attempted to produce a PINOCCHIO feature at Warner Bros., but when the project stalled, he sued the studio when he couldn't set it up at Columbia. Coppola won a $80 million suit, but the trial judge cut that amount to $20M, tossing out the punitive damages.
Del Toro is attached to a long list of projects, including his top priority, New Line/MGM's THE HOBBIT that will take about five years and will consist of two films he is directing and co-writing with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.
He is also working on remakes of Universal's monsters, including FRANKENSTEIN, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE and SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE as well as an adaptation of Dan Simmons' DROOD.