Guillermo Del Toro And Mark Gustafson Will Co-Direct Stop Motion 3D Feature "Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio"

Del Toro Helms his First Animated Feature

HOLLYWOOD, Calif., May 10, 2012 — (PRNewswire) — Guillermo Del Toro will co-direct "Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio" with Mark Gustafson (Animation Director on THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX). The Jim Henson Company production will be a 3D stop-motion animated version of PINOCCHIO based on the edition of Carlo Collodi's classic tale illustrated by Gris Grimly.  Inferno will represent the property to international buyers at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival.

Del Toro most recently served as executive producer of DreamWorks' "Puss in Boots," "Kung Fu Panda 2" and the upcoming "Rise of the Guardians" as well as creative consultant on "Megamind."  "Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio" marks his first turn helming an animated feature.

With a story by Del Toro, his frequent collaborator Matthew Robbins, and Gris Grimly, "Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio" is a retelling of one of the world's best-loved tales.  The puppet Pinocchio embarks on a series of extraordinary and thrilling adventures, proving himself to be as indestructible as his love for his father.  Robbins wrote the screenplay for the project.

Lisa Henson will produce for The Jim Henson Company with Del Toro and Jason Lust. Grimly and Gary Ungar will serve as executive producers, as will Bill Johnson and Jim Seibel of Inferno. Veteran rock musician and film composer Nick Cave will serve as music consultant for the production.

"Guillermo has been so passionate about this project from its inception and it is an honor to have him bring his unique blend of live action and animation experience to this well-loved story, collaborating with the talented Mark Gustafson," said Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company.

"We thought the combination of beloved family friendly brands such as Pinocchio and The Jim Henson Company along with the visual and storytelling genius of Guillermo del Toro would have the makings of a film that will have tremendous worldwide box office appeal," said Inferno's Co-Chairman Bill Johnson.  Added Jim Seibel, Co-Chairman of Inferno, "This is an exciting opportunity for both Inferno and the international distributors to be in business with filmmakers of this pedigree."

Since his first film, the Spanish language gothic thriller CRONOS, won the Critics' Prize at the 1993 Cannes International Film Festival, Guillermo del Toro has established himself as one of the leading writer-director-producers working today. Del Toro is currently producing, directing and co-wrote the large scale monster movie PACIFIC RIM for Legendary Films and Warner Brothers. His 2006 film PAN'S LABYRINTH became a surprise worldwide motion picture event. The film went on to take home three Academy Awards, Best Foreign Language Film at the BAFTAs, and landed on dozens of Best Picture of the Year lists. No stranger to the world of animation, Del Toro has a deal with DreamWorks Animation and served as an executive producer on KUNG FU PANDA 2, PUSS IN BOOTS and the upcoming THE RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, and as a creative consultant on MEGAMIND. In addition to his work in film, del Toro is the co-author of the STRAIN TRILOGY novels, each of which has been a New York Times top 10 best seller and has been published in thirty languages worldwide. Over the course of his prolific career, the many films with which Del Toro has been involved have grossed over $3 billion worldwide and have won countless international festival and academy awards. He is represented by Exile Entertainment; WME; and Hirsch, Wallerstein, Hayum, Matloff and Fishman, LLC.

The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include the Emmy® nominated "Sid the Science Kid," "Dinosaur Train," "Wilson & Ditch: Digging America" and "Pajanimals." Features include "The Dark Crystal," "Labyrinth," "MirrorMask," and "Unstable Fables" and television productions include "Fraggle Rock" and the sci-fi cult series "Farscape."

With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry's top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state-of-the-art and vintage equipment. The Company's Henson Alternative brand has recently launched the national tour of "Stuffed and Unstrung," a live puppet improvisational show named one of the top 10 "Best Stage Shows of 2010" by Entertainment Weekly.;;

Since launching its operation in 2002, Inferno has established itself as a premiere production and film financing company with the capability and autonomy to finance and package a diverse slate of high quality, commercial theatrical films. Inferno's foreign sales and production operations continue rapid growth through strong distributor relationships and strategic partnerships with both private and public equity funds. Inferno's upcoming film slate includes: -  KILLING THEM SOFTLY, a comedic crime thriller written and directed by Andrew Dominik, starring Brad Pitt.  And The HOST, a romantic, action sci-fi, based on Stephenie Meyer's bestselling novel adapted for the screen and directed by Andrew Niccol, starring Saoirse Ronan, and produced by Nick Wechsler, Stephenie Meyer and Chockstone Pictures. The film will be distributed by Open Road Films.  Inferno's previous films include THE GREY starring Liam Neeson, and directed by Joe Carnahan.  

SOURCE The Jim Henson Company

The Jim Henson Company
Ann Schwarz
Phone: +1-323-802-1667

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