Most know Guillermo del Toro from his monster movies, be it the ‘Hellboy’ franchise or the imaginative ‘Pan’s Labyrinth.’ But that overlooks his contributions to the animation field. Del Toro has executive produced such features as ‘Kung Fu Panda 2,’ ‘Megamind,’ ‘Puss in Boots’ and the upcoming ‘Rise of the Guardians.’ And now he’ll go one step further by co-directing a 3D stop-motion animated take on ‘Pinocchio.’

The feature has been in the works for years, though this is the first time del Toro’s confirming a role as co-director. It’s also the filmmakers first attempt at directing animation, and he’ll share the reigns with Mark Gustafson, who served as animation director on ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox.’ says that the Jim Henson Company will produce the effort, with Inferno shopping the title to international buyers in Cannes next week. Says Inferno's Co-Chairman Bill Johnson:

"We thought the combination of beloved family friendly brands such as Pinocchio and The Jim Henson Company along with the visual and storytelling genius of Guillermo del Toro would have the makings of a film that will have tremendous worldwide box office appeal."

Totally agree. There are dark elements weaved throughout the ‘Pinocchio’ classic that are hinted at in the classic Walt Disney animated feature – the one we’ve all grown up on – but deserve deeper exploration. Del Toro is the ideal director for the project. And if he and Gustafson can infuse the same patient, meticulous creative detail that went into ‘Mr. Fox,’ we could be in for something really special.

‘Pinocchio’ will be co-written by Del Toro, Matthew Robbins and Gris Grimly. It’s being reported that Nick Cave will serve as the film’s music consultant, which is equally awesome. We’ll likely have to wait a few years for this, as Del Toro’s wrapped up in ‘Pacific Rim’ and stop-motion animation takes a LONG time. But knowing this is on the horizon has us very excited. We’ll keep you posted in details as they emerge.