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Concept art: Entertainment Weekly/The Jim Henson Company

Gather ’round, all, for it’s time to announce the cancellation of another ambitious-sounding Guillermo Del Toro film project, which is how you know it’s one of the days of the week that ends with “-day.”

Once upon a time, the inventive director had spent years discussing his desire to make a dark, stop-motion version of the classic fairy tale. Based on the illustrated 2002 iteration of the famous book by Carlo Collodi, the film was originally in production back in 2011, before a loss of financing sent Del Toro to the proverbial drawing board, which for a stop-motion film is probably a very overstuffed board. But even bringing on Over The Garden Wall creator Patrick McHale earlier this year wasn’t enough to bring back those mythical financial backers, as Del Toro confirms in a new interview with IGN that the project isn’t happening.

“It’s not happening...But the idea was to do Pinocchio during the ascension of fascism in Italy, with Mussolini. It was a good time to discuss the idea of being a puppet or being a human, but you know, it’s not in progress.”


Despite his dream of this disembodied cinematic dream becoming a real film, it seems Pinocchio is doomed to forever reside in the Italian fascism of Del Toro’s mind, the $35 million needed to make it come to life forever out of reach. But the director has embraced the new state of affairs with gusto, saying he’s taking a year off to step back and consider his next step. At least The Shape Of Water lived happily ever after.

Alex McLevy is a writer and editor at The A.V. Club, and would kindly appreciate additional videos of robots failing to accomplish basic tasks.

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