Guillermo del Toro has been prepping a stop-motion version of the classic story of Pinocchio for a while now. Turns out it’s no longer on the table—and Tim Burton’s recent flick Frankenweenie is partially to blame.
The tale seemed like the perfect fit for a del Toro adaptation, and it’d have been interesting to see what he would’ve done with the premise. The director was working with Gris Grimly to script the story, but Grimly has now broken the news via Twitter that it isn’t going to happen:
Short to the point update on Pinocchio for those inquiring: It appears that this is not the right time for such a superior-adventurous flick— Gris Grimly (@GrisGrimly) January 30, 2013
So what was the problem? Stop-motion films are a big gamble, especially with someone like del Toro at the helm. It’s a tough tightrope to walk, and it attracts just a limited segment of the moviegoing population. Case in point: Tim Burton’s recent labor of love Frankenweenie, which made just $35 million of a $39 million budget at the U.S. box office. The worldwide gross did put it over the top, but after you factor in marketing it’s close to a wash. Sadly, movie studios aren’t in the business to break even.
While chatting with fans, Grimly went on to explain the challenges:
@thinkbaker There are people like us out there. But they look at numbers. Frankenweenie was a box office failure to them.— Gris Grimly (@GrisGrimly) January 30, 2013
It’s sad to hear that Del Toro’s Pinocchio has crashed back into development hell, right alongside his long-rumored Hellboy 3. Here’s hoping Pacific Rim is a monster hit and will give Del Toro the juice to get some of these projects back up and running. We can only hope.
(Via Bleeding Cool)