Photo: IMDB

Guillermo del Toro, writer of creepy creations such as Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy II, and The Shape of Water, will direct his first animated feature film with Pinocchio. He will also serve as writer and producer for the stop motion musical for Netflix.

Pinocchio is an old children’s fairy tale about a puppet that turns into a real boy, with Jiminy Cricket as his conscience. Del Toro’s version will be set in 1930s Italy, when fascism and Benito Mussolini were on the rise. If his previous films are any indication, this will be a much darker version of the classic cartoon.

“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,” del Toro said in a statement. “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. I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember.”

The film will be a collaboration with the Jim Henson Co., produced by Lisa Henson, Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar, and co-produced by Blanca Lista. Patrick McHale will co-write and Mark Gustafson will co-direct. Guy Davis will be the co-production designer. Mackinnon and Saunders, the team that brought Corpse Bride to life, will build the film’s puppets.

h/t Variety