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Non-Disney Pinocchio movie nabs star talent from Watchmen and Stranger Things

Tim Blake Nelson acting his heart out in HBO's Watchmen (Image credit: HBO)

Guillermo del Toro's upcoming stop-motion animated musical of Pinocchio is coming into focus, as a truly star-studded cast has been announced for the film – and it really is breathtaking.

While the lead role of Pinocchio is set to be played by "newcomer Gregory Mann", we're also going to see Ewan McGregor (Birds of Prey), Tilda Swinton (Okja), Christoph Waltz (Spectre, Inglourious Basterds), Cate Blanchett (Carol, The Lord of The Rings), and Ron Perlman (Hellboy) feature alongside – as well as Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard and Watchmen on HBO's Tim Blake Nelson. You can see the full announcement below:

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The Hollywood Reporter writes that “Del Toro is taking a multi-shaded look at the Carlo Collodi tale, originally published in the 1880s. This version of the story is set during the rise of fascism in Mussolini’s Italy and is described as a story of love and disobedience as Pinocchio struggles to live up to his father’s expectations.”

Not in Disney any more

What's perhaps most exciting about the upcoming Pinocchio film is that it isn't a Disney remake. Guillermo del Toro's take on the 19th-century children's story, The Adventures of Pinocchio, is sure to tread its own path, without the shot-by-shot recreations or staid live action scenes we've come to expect from remade Disney classics.

Disney's 1940 Pinocchio film is still a beloved animated movie today, following the eponymous wooden puppet as he faces exploitation, transformation, and a massive whale. There is indeed an official Disney remake in the works, from director Robert Zemeckis – and another take on the story from Matteo Garrone released in August 2020. So there's no shortage of Pinocchio stories to come.

But Del Toro's experience in haunting fairy tales, from Pan's Labyrinth to The Shape of Water, are sure to make for something truly memorable – and the cast he has lined up for the flick makes us doubly excited.

Henry St Leger

Henry is TechRadar's News & Features Editor, covering the stories of the day with verve, moxie, and aplomb. He's spent the past three years reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as well as gaming and VR – including a stint as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.