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The classic 1883 tale The Adventures of Pinocchio has been adapted many, many times for film and television over the decades, and that’s not stopping anytime soon. Along with Disney tackling a live-action remake of its animated Pinocchio movie from 1940, director Guillermo del Toro has a stop-motion animated Pinocchio film coming next year, and it’s been revealed that Ewan McGregor will voice that adaptation’s version of Jiminy Cricket.
Here’s what the Birds of Prey and Doctor Sleep actor recently had to say about his work on this Pinocchio adaptation:
I’m playing Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro’s version of Pinocchio. That I had started working on before I left for New York, so some of that is recorded. And of course it’s stop-frame animation, so it’s going to take them a great long time to make that film. But my first part, which is recording his dialogue, is sort of done. There may or may not be a song that needs to be recorded. I’m not sure I’m at liberty to discuss that.
We learned back in February that Ewan McGregor had been brought on board for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, and during a recent interview with ACE Universe, while going over what’s been on his professional plate lately, he spilled the beans on the Jiminy Cricket of it all. McGregor still hasn’t quite finished his vocal duties on that role, and with the movie slated to come out next year, one would imagine he’ll need to belt out that song he neither confirmed nor denied pretty soon.
This won’t be Ewan McGregor’s first foray into the world of animated movies, as he previously voiced Rodney Copperbottom in 2005’s Robots, which also starred Robin Williams, Halle Berry, Mel Brooks and Greg Kinnear. However, unlike McGregor’s more family-friendly movies, which also include Beauty and the Beast and Christoper Robin, Pinocchio doesn’t sound like it’s intended for the kiddies.
Rather than deliver a more straightforward adaptation of the original Pinocchio story, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio has been described as a “brutalist fable” that sees the puppet who wants to be a real boy living in the Mussolini era of Italy. Like The Shape of Water, del Toro’s Pinocchio also seems to be influenced by the eponymous subject of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein.
Guillermo del Toro’s take on Pinocchio has been in development since 2008, and while there was a period when it looked like the movie’s chances of happening were slim, it was announced in late 2018 that Netflix picked it up. In addition to his directing duties, del Toro also worked on the screenplay with Gus Grimly, Patrick McHale and Matthew Robbins. Alexandre Desplat is handling the score.
As for Ewan McGregor’s costars on Pinocchio, they include David Bradley, Ron Perlman, Tilda Swinton and Christoph Waltz. Bradley said that he’s voicing Geppetto, Pinocchio’s “father,” but Perlman, Swinton and Waltz’s roles haven’t been officially confirmed yet.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio drops on Netflix sometime in 2021, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates. In the meantime, del Toro is also hard working on Nightmare Alley, which had to pause filming back in March and stars Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe and Toni Collette.