Guillermo del Toro recently revealed a list of 17 scripts he has written that never got produced. Absent from that list, due to the fact it’s currently in development at Netflix, is is version of Pinocchio. The project was originally announced back in October, but he recently opened up to discuss how he is approaching the project.

Most people probably best know Pinocchio from Disney’s 1940 Animated film, while there have been many other adaptations over the years, none have really even come close to the cultural impact that Disney achieved. Unlike that version, del Toro’s film will be set during the 1930’s in Italy, during the rise of Mussolini and will not be targeting the “family film” demographic. Instead, it will have a darker tone and will have more in common with his 2006 film, Pan’s Labyrinth. Speaking at the Marrakech Film Festival he compared Pinocchio to Frankenstein’s Monster,

“He’s a creature that is created through unnatural means from a father that he then distances [himself] from, and has to learn about failure and pain and loneliness.” 

When asked if the film was going to be political, he expressed that he did not want to make an overtly political film, however, due to the setting, it would have to be by its nature Pinocchio during the rise of Mussolini, do the math. A puppet during the rise of fascism, yes, it is.” He added that fables are in fact political stories, looking at classics like Cinderella and Snow White, those films tackled class and gender issues of the day and many of those can still act like a mirror to today’s society.

Del Toro has partnered with Jim Henson Studios and ShadowMachine for the Stop Motion film which should be going into production soon and is currently slated for release sometime in 2021.