PINOCCHIO and PADDINGTON: Adaptation Updates for Two Classics

By at May 20, 2012 | 10:27 am | Print

One’s Italian, the other’s British. One’s a marionette who becomes a boy; the other’s a toy bear with a smart rain slicker and a penchant for marmalade. And both are coming to the big screen, involving heavy hitter names like del Toro, Henson and Heyman (sounds like a multi-lingual law firm).

Concept art from Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

:: Pinocchio
Director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) has been preparing a stop-motion 3D adaptation of the classic children’s fable for the Jim Henson Company, but the film hit the movie news line this week with del Toro’s announcement that he’s taking the helm from previous co-director Gris Grimly, whose Pinocchio illustrations were inspiration for the film’s expectedly creepy look. The other co-directing duties have been with animation filmmaker Mark Gustafson, who’s shown his own penchant for playful creepiness with his Mr. Resistor shorts.

The Pinocchio images you see here are concept art released by Henson in early 2011.

Concept art from Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Word is that the del Toro / Gustafson / Lisa Henson production will, of course, have a dark edge, but may be appropriate for ages 10 and older. In a recent meeting at the Cannes Film Festival, del Toro announced his directing decision, and mentioned a voice cast wish list that includes Daniel Radcliffe, Christopher Walken and Tom Waits. In production since 2008, Pinocchio may not see movie screens until 2015 or 2016.

Either way, it sounds far more inline with the wishes of today’s fantasy audiences than Roberto Benigni’s disastrous live-action adaptation in 2002. (I always thought a prosthetic Pinocchio nose was wasted on a beak like Benigni’s.)

The Hollywood Reporter has the rundown from del Toro’s Cannes talk.

:: Paddington
Harry Potter series and I Am Legend producer David Heyman has decided to “please look after this bear,” bringing the famed Paddington to the big screen for the first time in the character’s 54-year history. The production is planned as a CGI / live-action mashup, appropriate for all ages. Directing is Paul King, the filmmaker behind 2009’s Bunny and the Bull and British TV series Come Fly With Me. The film is being produced under the Studiocanal banner, though Heyman initially had the Paddington project at Warner Bros. in 2007.

(thanks Movieweb)

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