Guillermo del Toro has wrangled in Ewan McGregor to star in his long-gestating animated version of Pinocchio. After years of development, Netflix partnered with del Toro to bring the classic tale to life using stop-motion animation back in October 2018. Now, we have word that McGregor has boarded the project, voicing the character Jiminy Cricket.

The news was revealed by Ewan McGregor personally. During a recent interview, he was discussing what he was working on before the production shut down that has rattled Hollywood started back in March. At which time, the actor decided to casually reveal that he is playing a key role in Pinocchio. Here's what McGregor had to say about it.

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"I'm playing Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro's version of Pinocchio. That I had started working on before I left for New York, so some of that is recorded. And of course, it's stop-motion animated so it's going to take them a great long time to make that film. But my first part, which is recording his dialogue, is sort of done. There may or may not be a song that has to be recorded. I'm not sure I'm at liberty to discuss that."

In Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket is a talking cricket who is used to personify the puppet's conscience once he is brought to life. There is no word yet on who will be joining Ewan McGregor in the cast but this cements at least one A-list star for the lineup. Guillermo del Toro is penning the screenplay for the adaptation, in addition to directing. The Jim Henson Company, which recently produced Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance for Netflix, has also partnered with del Toro for the project.

Ewan McGregor has had an impressive run in recent years. Since 2017, he has starred in Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast, Trainspotting 2, Fargo, Christopher Robin and Doctor Sleep. McGregor also played the DC villain Black Mask in this year's Birds of Prey. The actor is set to reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in an upcoming live-action Star Wars series for Disney+. McGregor also mentioned in the interview that he was in the middle of filming the series Halston for Netflix. This adds yet another impressive credit to his recent resume.

Disney is also planning a live-action Pinocchio remake, which is set to be directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future). Guillermo del Toro was in the middle of filming Nightmare Alley before the shutdown. It serves as his first directorial effort since The Shape of Water, which went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars. While no release date has been firmed up, it seems Pinocchio is next on his to-do list. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. You can check out the full interview with Ewan McGregor from the ACE Universe YouTube channel.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott