Guillermo del Toro loves cinema, and cinema loves him right back. He also knows the value of listening to collaborators and fellow filmmakers about getting the best possible result when making a feature, especially a passion project. “We don’t run a monarchy,” he tells Variety‘s Awards Circuit Podcast. “We run a beautiful collaborative effort. The animators are given a voice. What is impossible is the monarchy is not a desirable state for a storyteller. It’s important to have the last word. It’s not important to have the only word.”
On this episode of the award-winning Variety Awards Circuit Podcast, we talk with the visionary filmmaker about his new film, discussing the process of bringing the film to the big screen which took over 1,000 days to shoot, and the 22 screenplays he’s yet to make. Listen below:
“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” has garnered critical acclaim and is one of the leading contenders for animated feature in this year’s Oscars race. In addition, Netflix is also making a substantial push to have the film recognized for best picture, a category that has only seen three animated nominees in history — “Beauty and the Beast” (1991), “Up” (2009) and “Toy Story 3” (2010). Del Toro, who produces, directs and co-writes, also offers his talents as a songwriter, with the beautiful number “Ciao Papa,” penned with his co-writing composer Alexandre Desplat and Roeban Katz.
Netflix’s previous awards campaigns have secured four animated feature noms in the last four years: “I Lost My Body” (2020), “Klaus” (2020), “Over the Moon” (2021) and “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” (2022). However, “Pinocchio” might be the streamer’s best shot yet at winning the statuette.
Working in the business for over 30 years, del Toro has written 34 screenplays but has only made 12 of them. One of those unfinished is the long-rumored “Mountains of Madness,” which he thinks can be made — but would need to be rewritten because he thinks it can be done with stop-motion animation.
Del Toro has received five Academy Award nominations throughout his career, winning two for directing and co-producing “The Shape of Water” (2017). His other noms also include writing the best picture winner, another one for “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006), and most recently as a producer for “Nightmare Alley” (2021).
Also on this episode of the Awards Circuit Podcast is actor Charmaine Bingwa, who plays the wife of Will Smith’s Peter in Apple Original Films’ “Emancipation.” She talks about the difficulty of portraying such a prolific character and being able to represent the LGBTQ community in such a positive light.
Finally, the Roundtable comes together to discuss the Gotham Awards winners, the reviews for “Emancipation” and the anticipation beind James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which screens for journalists next week.
Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, who also co-hosts with Clayton Davis, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post weekly.