What do you give the man who’s conquered the film world, made his dream project, and won an Oscar in the process? How about a whole boatload of money to make whatever he wants from Netflix?

Ah, it is very good to be Guillermo del Toro right now. Hot on the heels of his Academy Award-winning The Shape of Water, GdT has announced he will now direct a stop-motion animated Pinocchio for Netflix. And it definitely sounds like a del Toro version of this material:

The film will be set in Italy during the 1930s, a particularly fraught historical moment and a time when Fascism was on the rise and Benito Mussolini was consolidating control of the country. Production on Pinocchio will begin this fall.

In a statement (via Variety), del Toro said: “No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio. In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world.” Given del Toro’s predilections, the scene where the kids turn into donkeys should be bonkers.

Del Toro — who has produced other animated films, but not directed one before — also noted he’s been waiting to make this film “for as long as I can remember.” Give him this much credit. Some folks win an Oscar, they take that thing straight to the bank for a cash-in gig in a massive blockbuster. Not GdT. I mean, given Netflix’s deep pockets, I’m sure he’s doing just fine on this deal, but instead of following up a passion project with a profitable sellout, del Toro is doubling down on an even more passionate passion project. That’s cool.

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