While we were worried that his planned Pinocchio movie would vanish into the void of projects that never quite come together for Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim), it is always best to trust in his ability to one day get them made. And now news arrives via Collider that he is adding Patrick McHale (Over The Garden Wall) as a co-writer on a new draft of the script.
Del Toro has certainly been vocal about working in the animation field, and has been acting as producer on several projects for DreamWorks Animation. Talking to Collider about one of them – Trollhunters – he pressed the idea that he still wants to direct in the animated motion picture field. "There are a lot of things that are still percolating, but as far as I'm concerned, I am still planning to do my first animated feature as a director. It's been an apprenticeship with DreamWorks the last seven years with Jeffrey Katzenberg. I was as close to him as I could and I was on the production of Puss In Boots (2011), Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) and so forth because I'm preparing to, more and more, direct animation.
"I'm preparing, also, my first stop-motion animation feature with Pinocchio, which I've been trying to get off the ground for a while, but I haven't been able yet. But the last news on Pinocchio, which was very, very useful for me, was that I was looking for a co-writer who could be a great partner for me on this, and I'm happy to say that Patrick McHale from Over the Garden Wall (2013) is going to co-write the new draft of the screenplay with me."
So while it has been a few years for this one – it has been bubbling away since at least 2008 – the fact that Guillermo del Toro is still keeping the flame alight gives us hope it will show up one day. And as he says, McHale certainly has a lot of experience with animation as both writer and director.
As for actual del Toro movies on the way, we have The Shape Of Water headed to our screens at some point this year, while Trollhunters' first season is now on Netflix.