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Guillermo Del Toro Starting Stop-Motion ‘Pinocchio’ Feature With Henson And Pathe

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Guillermo del Toro, The Jim Henson Company and Pathe are ready to go on Pinocchio, a 3D stop motion animated adaptation of the Carlo Collodi fairy tale that will be edgier than the 1940 animated Disney classic. Gris Grimly will co-direct with Mark Gustafson, and production will begin later this year.  Grimly illustrated a 2002 book of Collodi’s tale that formed the basis for a project that is years in the making.

The storyline was hatched by Del Toro and Matthew Robbins, and the script was written by the latter, who has collaborated with del Toro on scripts for Mimic, the remake Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, and del Toro’s next directing project At the Mountains of Madness.  Del Toro will produce with Jim Henson Company’s Lisa Henson and Jason Lust, and Allison Abbate. Gary Ungar is exec producer along with Pathe’s Francois Ivernel and Cameron McCracken.

This version is aimed at an audience 10 years and up, and a bit scarier than the Disney film. Australian rock musician and film composer Nick Cave has signed on to be music consultant and the puppets and 3D elements will be developed with MacKinnon and Saunders, the UK-based facility that worked on The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, and the upcoming Frankenweenie. Del Toro supplied the accompanying photos to convey the feel of a film that shares a core theme from … Read More »

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Pathé UK Swaps Warner Bros For Fox

The London-based arm of the French film company has switched Warner Bros for Fox to handle physical distribution of its theatrical releases. Back in April 2009 Pathé announced that Warner Bros would be handling its theatrical distribution in the UK and Ireland with Fox handling home entertainment. Now Pathé UK bosses Francois Ivernel and Cameron McCracken have decided to put all their oeufs in one basket. The new Fox deal will kick off with one of either two foreign-language titles, Daniel Auteuil’s The Well-Digger’s Daughter or Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In. The Fox deal will cover the 3-4 films Pathé makes each year — filming began yesterday on The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep as Mrs Thatcher –- as well as any French Pathe productions likely to do well in Britain. “We felt it made sense for one studio to manage the licensing process across all rights,” says Ivernel.

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