Monday, October 24, 2016

Breaking News: 'Tale of Tales' director Matteo Garrone To Reimagine Pinocchio, First Casting Announced

This is pretty exciting news hitting the newsroom this morning! Just an hour(ish) ago, Deadline announced that Matteo Garrone, who is set to do his personal reimagining of the Italian fairy tale classic, Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi, has cast his first actor. Toni Servillo (The Great Beauty) will return to work with Garrone as Gepetto, Pinocchio's father.

Pinocchio and the pigeon fly to the seashore. - Chiostri 1911
While aware that Tale of Tales isn't a film for everyone, we thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it translated the difficult text of the tale extremely well from book to film. (Review coming soon.) As a result, we're now very (very!) curious as to how Garrone sees Pinocchio. We expect wonderful, artful, and yes, magical, things.

From Deadline:
Garrone’s live-action version will take an “artisanal approach, blending prosthetics, special makeup and CGI.” 
Garrone’s Archimede Productions, Jeremy Thomas’ Recorded Picture Company and Jean Labadie’s Le Pacte will produce the adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s bestselling classic. Garrone will direct from his own screenplay. 
Pinocchio is a dream of mine that goes back in time to when I was a child,” Garrone said in the statement. “With this movie I will complete my journey through the fairy-tale world that I started with Tale of Tales.” 
The film is expected to begin shooting in the spring in Italy.
Geppetto brings Pinocchio to life, as Carlo Chiostri's illustrations bring Collodi's story to life. From: Le avventure di Pinocchio: Storia di un burattino; by Carlo Collodi, with illustrations by Carlo Chiostri; 1911, Firenze, R. Bemporad & Figlio Editori
Italian news outlet,, quotes Garrone as saying:
The director, according to initial statements, " will create a fantastic world of mystery and wonder, with a story full of touching moments, fun and lively. It will carry animals and fantastic creatures of Pinocchio world using a very practical approach, blending makeup, prosthetics and CGI . "
Complete his journey? I wonder how that will be reflected in the film.

It's been confirmed that this film will be in Italian, with Italian actors and, once again, shot in Italy.

If he's making the movie for his childhood self, there's a good chance this might be more of a family film - though likely a 'Euro family version' - than Tale of Tales (which was less horrific and lusty than we had been led to believe - most things were implied, not shown). 
Pinocchio is sentenced to four months in prison! Also from the 1911 Italian edition of the book.
Either way, we expect a much better film than Roberto Benigni's more-disturbing-than-charming effort of 2002, and look forward to seeing more casting, specifically of Pinocchio and the Blue Fairy, the latter of which may turn out to be a perfect strong female role for some lucky woman.

We found an interesting assessment of the difficulties in remaking Pinocchio by Italian media outlet, which we had to share, because it's a very distilled image of just why so many directors fail when they try to reinterpret the classics on film. We've put the main quote bold:
The puppet master Mangiafuoco, Carlo Chiostri 1911
It is what some call the effect Don Quixote: that in many, too many directors / screenwriters cinema approach a literary myth and their wings will melt. 
In short, the Collodi's fairy tale with its police, its circus and his coin buried under a tree by the Cat and the Fox and subsequently become a swag of gold coins - unintentional metaphor for the current speculative bubble that is scary - awaits the Garrone version. We hope to one of the most important Italian filmmakers in the world to get to the masterpiece. History shows that the transposition of the famous puppet does not allow half measures.
Hollywood is certainly having difficulty with its many versions. There is Guillermo del Toro's stop motion, which looked extremely promising, yet has been stalled for quite some time; Robert Downey Jr's version, which also stalled for a while until Ron Howard came on board to direct not long ago, and, of course, Disney have their own live action version of their animated film, waiting in the development wings (!) too. It seems Garrone's film is already further ahead than any of these.

Garrone's Pinocchio is expected to be released in 2018.

1 comment:

  1. Pinocchio is a tough story to work with in general, depending on your audience. Played wrong, it can seem too dark, too didactic or the main character can seem too much like a brat. It's probably far easier to work with in the story's native Italy than over here, though. As a storyteller who's adapted the story into a long string of performances, I find the best approach is to play up the randomness and the humor of the story. But that's just how it worked for me here in the US, telling it for fellow storytellers.