Matteo Garrone’s new film Pinocchio will begin shooting in the first quarter of 2019. Production of this adaptation was postponed while the Italian director focussed on his latest film, Dogman. This time Garrone, who has twice won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes for his films Gomorra and Reality, is taking his inspiration from Italian journalist Carlo Collodi’s famous story.
The scenario of Garrone’s film goes back to the story of a living puppet which wants to become a little boy, helped by a talking cricket acting as his conscience. This children’s story has been adapted many times for both large and small screen. The most memorable version being Disney’s, called simply Pinocchio and directed by Hamilton Luske and Ben Sharpsteen in 1940.
Garrone’s version will feature the well-known Italian actor and director Roberto Benigni, whose film La vie est belle received an Oscar in 1999. He will play the role of Gepetto, Pinocchio’s father. The story of the young puppet is not unknown to him since he adapted it himself in 2002, playing the title role.
Matteo Garrone speaks enthusiastically about his 10th feature film: “Making Pinocchio and directing Roberto Benigni are two dreams which can only come true in a film. Collodi’s famous puppet has been with me since my childhood, when I drew my first storyboards. Over the years I have always felt something special in this story, as if the character had penetrated my imagination to the point of influencing my previous films.”
Filming will take place in several regions of Italy, from Tuscany to Apulia. Mark Coulier, prosthetics make-up designer on Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, will be part of the team. He will create Pinocchio’s special make-up effects while Rachael Penfold, featured in the credits of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s The Revenant, supervises the other visual effects.
The film is co-produced by Archimed, Rai Cinema and The Pact, in association with Recorded Picture Company.