Cate Blanchett among all-star cast for Pinocchio

Cate Blanchett among all-star cast for Pinocchio

Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton and Christoph Waltz will star in Guillermo del Toro's 'Pinocchio'.

The trio have all joined the Netflix project, alongside Ewan McGregor as Jiminy Cricket, 'Harry Potter' actor David Bradley as Geppetto and newcomer Gregory Mann playing Pinocchio in the stop-motion adaptation of the classic story.

The movie is based on the Carlo Collodi novel but will be a darker take on the tale, set during the rise of fascism in Mussolini's Italy and exploring how Pinocchio struggles to live up to his father's expectations.

Guillermo, 55, said: "After years of pursuing this dream project, I found my perfect partner in Netflix.

"We have spent a long time curating a remarkable cast and crew and have been blessed by continuous support from Netflix to quietly and carefully soldier on, barely missing a beat. We all love and practice animation with great passion and believe it to be the ideal medium to retell this classic story in a completely new way."

The animators began work on the movie - which is slated for a 2021 release - last autumn and the isolated nature of the production has allowed it to carry on amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ewan previously confirmed that he was voicing Jiminy Cricket in the flick and that he had done some of the recording work.

The 49-year-old actor said: "I'm playing Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro's version of 'Pinocchio'.

"I had started working on it before I left New York, so some of that is recorded.

"And of course it's stop-frame animation, so it's going to take them a great long time to make that film. But my first part of that, which is recording his dialogue, is sort of done."

A separate live-action adaptation of 'Pinocchio' is in the works for Disney with Robert Zemeckis directing and Tom Hanks lined up to play the part of Geppetto.

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