Guillermo del Toro always has a big handful of projects in various stages of development. That means, unfortunately, that as certain things come to the fore, others fall away. Sometimes they’re due to his commitments to projects such as Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak. Others might go away due to various forces in the entertainment industry that help and hurt projects as part of the normal run of things. Seems line one particular animated film has fallen prey to those forces.

Over the past couple years we’ve heard about a stop-motion version of Pinocchio that del Toro was developing with The Jim Henson Co., with GDT and Gris Grimly writing and Grimly set to direct. There was concept art and some images of the puppets, and even a planned cast. Tom Waits was lined up to voice Gepetto, which just sounds lovely.

But now it looks like that project is dead, or at least sleeping.  Read More »


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While doing press for his latest film, Frankenweenie, Tim Burton said he wasn’t sure if the rumored Pinocchio film he was circling to was going to happen. That was not a lie. However, those chances have just increased as the project has attracted a talented and proven screenwriter.

Jane Goldman, best known for her work alongside Matthew Vaughn on Stardust, Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, is in talks pen the film which has Robert Downey Jr. attached as Geppetto. Bryan Fuller wrote the first draft of the script. Read more after the jump. Read More »

After years of planning, Guillermo Del Toro jump-started his 3D stop-motion animated take on Pinocchio last week when he announced that he’d be co-directing with Mark Gustafson, with production to get underway next summer. Now one of the team’s next steps will be picking out a voice cast.

While no one’s locked in just yet, del Toro said he does have a few names in mind. He revealed that Christopher Walken and Tom Waits were on his wishlist, and let slip that Daniel Radcliffe had already expressed an interest in joining the project. More details after he jump.

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A few years ago Guillermo del Toro started working to produce a stop-motion animated take on Pinocchio. Despite some solid attached talent, like Fantastic Mr. Fox animator Mark Gustafson as co-director with Gus Grimly, whose illustrated take on the story helped spawn the project, this one has taken time to get to the production stage. That’s even with the Jim Henson company behind the development, too.

So, with the number of projects del Toro has started to produce over the past few years stacked against the ones that have actually been finished, I’d understand if anyone took a ‘wait and see’ attitude towards this Pinocchio. Now it might have taken a big step towards a green light, however, as del Toro says that he’ll co-direct the film with Gustafson, with a summer 2013 shoot planned. Read More »

Tim Burton has two movies coming out in 2012, Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie, but what he does after that is very much up in the air. The Batman, Edward Scissorhands and Alice in Wonderland director is attached to several different projects but, as of this moment, his interest is mostly on something new: a live-action version of the classic Carlo Collodi book and Disney film Pinocchio. And he’d like Robert Downey Jr. to play the woodcarver who makes a real life boy. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Each December since 2004, studio executive Franklin Leonard has compiled the best unproduced screenplays of the year, as voted by hundreds of execs, agency guys, and high-level assistants. Titled The Black List, the compendium highlights both established screenwriters and up-and-comers, and has served as a launching pad in the past for projects like Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, and (500) Days of Summer. Last year’s list included Margin Call, Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Hunger Games, and Snow White and the Huntsman.

It should be noted that the headline is somewhat misleading — some of these screenplays have already been acquired and are already in development, though according to Leonard none will have entered principal photography by December 31, 2011. Also worth pointing out is that, as in previous years, there have been rumors that some of the participants have been accused of using the Black List to promote their own clients or friends. Finally, as Leonard reminds us each time, “The Black List is not a ‘best of’ list. It is, at best, a ‘most liked’ list.”

Regardless, we can always rely on the Black List to stir up conversation among both industry insiders and outside spectators alike, so without further ado, hit the jump for the complete 2011 list.

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Shawn Levy to direct Pinocchio Prequel

Briefly: Shawn Levy‘s Real Steel was the box-office champ for a second weekend in a row, so it’s no surprise to see him set up with a new high-concept project. Fox has picked up a script called The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto, by Michael Vukadinovich, which is a prequel to the story told in Pinocchio. (Didn’t Fox learn anything from the returns and reviews for The Thing this weekend?)

Shawn Levy is now attached to direct the film, called “a fresh way into the Pinocchio story.” Read More »

Guillermo del Toro is a filmmaking force of nature. Seemingly every few weeks, the writer/producer/director announces a new project and the latest will team him up with the Henson Company and Pathe to produce a 3D stop-motion animation version of Pinocchio. Based on a 2002 book of the classic fairy tale, the film will be aimed at slightly older audiences and be more edgy. It’ll be co-directed by Gris Grimly (who illustrated the 2002 book) and Mark Gustafson from a script by Matthew Robbins. Del Toro and Robbins collaborated on the story and the whole production is gearing up for production later this year. After the jump, see more concept art from the film, read who else is going to be working on it (Nick Cave!) and even check out some quotes from Del Toro about this film and how he’ll fit it with At the Mountains of Madness. Read More »

On December 23, 1935, Walt Disney wrote an eight page letter to a gentleman named Don Graham at the Chouinard Art Institute (now Cal Arts) asking him to help train new, and improve old, Disney animators. Walt felt that many of the men he employed weren’t working up to their potential and that by focusing on a few simple things, the studio’s output would improve exponentially. Well, after this letter, the studio released – in order – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi. So, it seemed to have worked.

The letter is a fascinating look into the genius mind of Walt Disney, as it details the unique way he looked at movies, humor, drawing, running a company and much more. He details the minutia – such as body type and rhythm of movement – of animation and implores animators not to ignore these incredibly important things. Animators, or just fans of Disney, should really enjoy this. Check out scans of the letter and link to the full transcript after the break. Read More »