Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro has reportedly partnered with illustrator Gris Grimly and Aussie Music genius Nick Cave, to show a different take on the story of the wooden puppet who wants to be a real boy.
It was 1882 when Carlo Collodi published in an Italian newspaper, the series of stories that eventually turned into the novel “Pinocchio.”
The adventures of the wooden puppet have been told, retold and modified for audiences ever since, but the true essence of the character is still to be accurately depicted; the Disney Pinocchio is far too sweet and quiet, with some facial expressions reminiscent of “Dumbo.” The original story has the marionette going through a rough and crude world, and through equally creepy adventures, a sometimes disturbing portrait of the poor and famishing Italy of the second half of the nineteenth century.
Del Toro’s version aims to be closer to the original story. Dark, mysterious, gothic looking, very much like the 2002 version of the story illustrated by Gris Grimly.
Grimly, a thirty-something rockabilly looking person, with large sideburns and a weakness for everything gothic started a career as illustrator in 1998. Aside from working on Pinnochio, he is also illustrating a new version of Frankenstein—a work that won’t be finished until 2012, but anybody can see its progress on grimly’s blog, and facebook page. Grimly publishes his work on the web, before even releasing it.
It was Grimly who started pushing, since 2003, for a new film to be made about the adventures of Pinocchio. Looking for a director, he found out that his number one choice was a huge fan of his art; Grimly’s gallery contacted Del Toro, who initially refused to take part in the project, citing he was already directing something else.
Grimly decided to direct the project himself, once Del Toro agreed to produce it. Soon after, the Jim Henson company signed up, and last summer, Grimly convinced Nick Cave to jump on board, a line up that according to Grimly “will ensure the fairytale I have in my head, will be what you see and hear on the screen”.