Guillermo del Toro Talks RISE OF THE GUARDIANS and PINOCCHIO; Hopes to Begin Voice Recording in Jan 2013 and Ron Perlman Will Play Stromboli

     August 3, 2012


As most of you know, I recently did an epic hour-long video interview with director Guillermo del Toro, and every day this week I’m posting part of it.  For today’s installment I’ve got del Toro talking about DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians and co-directing the 3D stop-motion animated iteration of Pinocchio with Mark Gustafson.  Here’s some of the highlights from what he said:

  • Rise of the Guardians is the first DreamWorks Animation film that del Toro was able to work on from inception.  He came into Puss in Boots in the middle of production.
  • Del Toro and the other people involved were giggling when they watched the opening to Guardians because they couldn’t believe they got away with putting “a dark, moody, and poetic piece” in a big studio movie.
  • The images that have been released for Pinocchio are from when Gris Grimly was in charge of production, so del Toro is going to redesign some of the characters now that he’s co-directing. However, the character of Pinocchio will remain the same.
  • They’ve already started puppet construction on Pinocchio and del Toro now has to get Nick Cave to start writing the songs for the film.
  • He hopes to begin voice recording by January or February of 2013.
  • The script is in its fourth or fifth draft, and del Toro has to do one more pass himself then they’ll start casting the film.
  • His dream casting is to have Tom Waits as Geppetto.
  • Ron Perlman will play a character named Mangiafuoco, who in the Disney version was called Stromboli.

Hit the jump for more.

Rise-of-the-Guardians-posterHere’s the part of my interview on both films with the full transcript below the video.  Look for more with del Toro tomorrow.  Finally, if you missed the first four installments, the links are at the bottom of this article.

Guillermo del Toro Time Index:

  • Rise of the Guardians talk.  Explains how he got on this project on the ground floor.  Talks about how the movie opens and can’t believe what they got away with because it’s dark and moody.
  • 2:05 – Pinocchio talk.  Is going to redesign the images of the characters except for  Pinocchio. Needs to get Nick Cave to start writing the songs and also to start casting.  Hopes to start recording the voices in January or February of next year.
  • 3:05 – Says the script is very far along and calls it “quite solid.  It’s already in its 4th or 5th draft.”
  • 3:25 – Does he already have ideas for casting?  Wants to have Tom Waits for Gepetto.  Says he would have Ron Perlman play Stromboli.

rise-of-the-guardians-jack-frost-posterCollider:  Obviously DreamWorks’ Rise of the Guardians looks fantastic.  What can you tease about it and do you want to say to people about it?

GUILLERMO DEL TORO: Well it’s the first movie that we were able to get from almost the get-go.  Puss in Boots I came in about halfway through the process and we were able to do stuff that I thought was beautiful and unique and a little more crazy, experimental almost in movies of that size.  With Rise of the Guardians, we were able to be there at inception.  I think it’s a very beautiful movie, I think Peter Ramsay has created a world that is incredibly gorgeous and colorful. 

It’s one that mixes better than any other with stuff I like and the themes that I like to approach; the idea that believing is seeing other than seeing is believing.  The idea of faith, the idea of fear being a thing that you can acknowledge and deal with.  The movie opens in such a beautiful, delicate, understated way—almost poetic—and we were watching the opening and we were giggling because we were thinking, “We got away with this!”  We’re doing a movie that is this expensive, that is destined for a family audience and we were able to open with a dark and moody and poetic piece, and then we have other pieces like that throughout the movie.  We had some radical ideas with it.  I hope it can set a different tone for family movies, for entertainment movies.

pinocchio-concept-art-imageEveryone saw recently the first images and info on the stop-motion Pinocchio.  What can you tell us about that?

DEL TORO: It’s going great.  The images that have been made public were designed when Gris Grimly was fully in charge of the project, so I have to do a redesign of some of that.  But Pinocchio is Pinocchio, that is going to remain the same.  I think we start the redesign room in about three or four weeks, we already started puppet construction, and it’s a movie that I’ve been enamored [with] from the moment we started developing.  So I have to engage Nick Cave to start writing the songs and [I have] to start casting the movie, hopefully with the idea of starting the voice recording by January, February of next year.

pinocchio-guillermo-del-toro-imageSo is the script for that really far along?

DEL TORO: Oh yeah, no the script is quite solid.  It’s already in its fourth, fifth draft.  I just need to do one more pass myself and then we’ll start breaking it down and start hiring actors and start doing voice recording.

Do you already have ideas for casting?

DEL TORO: To me the idea of Geppetto would be Tom Waits, you know that’s my dream cast.  I’m not saying we’re going to get him, but that would be my ideal Geppetto.

And who does Ron Perlman play?

DEL TORO: (laughs) Ron Perlman will play Mangiafuoco, who in the Disney version was called Stromboli. Ron is perfect for that.

Here’s the previous installments with del Toro:

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