Guillermo Del Toro Sets Animated Kazuo Ishiguro Adaptation for Netflix

The film, based on Ishiguro's "The Buried Giant," follows Del Toro's acclaimed "Pinocchio" animated feature.
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 05: Guillermo del Toro attends the AFI Fest 2022: Red Carpet Premiere of Guillermo Del Toro's "Pinocchio" at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 05, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for AFI)
Guillermo del Toro attends the AFI Fest premiere of "Pinocchio"
Getty Images for AFI

Right before his “Pinocchio” stop-motion film (probably) wins the Animated Feature Oscar this March, Guillermo Del Toro is setting up a new animated flick at Netflix. The “Shape of Water” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” filmmaker will direct “The Buried Giant,” an animated adaptation of “Never Let Me Go” writer Kazuo Ishiguro’s fantasy novel, for the streamer, IndieWire has confirmed.

Released in 2015, Ishiguro’s “The Buried Giant” is set in a version of England where King Arthur really existed but has long since died, and nobody is able to retain long-term memories. The story focuses on the relationship between Axl and Beatrice, an elderly couple who go on a journey to find a son they can barely remember.

Del Toro will direct and produce the film adaptation, and is co-writing the script with Dennis Kelly, who previously penned the screenplay to Netflix’s “Matilda the Musical” last year. ShadowMachine, the stop-motion studio behind “Pinocchio,” will reteam with the director on the new feature.

“Guillermo del Toro is a visionary filmmaker and master of his craft,” Netflix Film Chairman Scott Stuber said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more proud of the prestigious recognition for his Pinocchio, and we’re pleased to continue our creative partnership as he develops his next project with Netflix.”

Del Toro directed “Pinocchio,” a stop-motion adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s 1883 Italian novel, with Mark Gustafson, and wrote the screenplay with Patrick McHale. The film debuted to critical acclaim, and in addition to its Oscar nod, has also won the BAFTA and Golden Globe Animated Feature awards. According to Netflix, the film reached 101.5 hours viewed during its first 28 days of availability, and spent four weeks on the streamer’s Top 10 English Films List.

“’The Buried Giant’ continues my animation partnership with Netflix and our pursuit of stop-motion as a medium to tell complex stories and build limitless worlds,” Del Toro said in a statement. “It is a great honor and greater responsibility for me to direct this screenplay which Dennis Kelly and I are adapting from Kazuo Ishiguro’s profound and imaginative novel.”

In an interview with IndieWire prior to the release of “Pinocchio,” Del Toro spoke about his passion for animation, and particularly his interest in the highly physical process of creating stop-motion films.

“I think the beauty of stop-motion and why it has a very demanding and frail state as a production and storytelling method is that it [requires] basically the same rigor and delivery as a live-action film,” del Toro told IndieWire. “You are designing and physically building a set, you are aging the walls, and fabricating every prop. It needs to fit not only the world but the ‘hand-held actors.’”

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