Ewan McGregor voicing Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pinocchio'

Jiminy Cricket from Disney's Pinocchio (Credit: Disney)
Jiminy Cricket from Disney's Pinocchio (Credit: Disney)

Ewan McGregor is voicing the character of the talking cricket in the up-coming stop motion remake of Pinocchio, being helmed by Guillermo Del Toro.

McGregor confirmed the casting in an interview with YouTube channel Ace Universe.

“I’m playing Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro’s version of Pinocchio,” he said, noting that production had been curtailed in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.

“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.

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“But my first part of that, which is recording his dialogue, is sort of done. There may or may not be a song that needs to be recorded. I’m not sure that I’m at liberty to discuss that.”

Del Toro's version of the tale will place the action in 1930s Italy, during the rise of fascism, with songs also featuring.

Ewan McGregor attends the LA premiere of "Doctor Sleep" at the Regency Theatre Westwood on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Ewan McGregor (Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Cliff Edwards voiced the cricket character in the 1940 Disney version of the classic Italian folk tale, in which he was re-named Jiminy.

Alongside McGregor on the bill are Ron Perlman as puppet master Mangiafuoco, Tilda Swinton as The Fairy with Turquoise Hair, Christoph Waltz as The Fox and the Cat and Harry Potter's David Bradley as Mister Geppetto.

Netflix is producing the movie, with a current release date planned for 2021.

Pinocchio, lobbycard, from left: Gepetto, , Figaro, lower right: Cleo, 1940. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)
Pinocchio, lobbycard, from left: Gepetto, , Figaro, lower right: Cleo, 1940. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)

McGregor also broached the forthcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series, set for Disney+, in which he'll reprise his role as the Jedi master from the Star Wars prequel movies.

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But while he could not reveal any details, he said that he was planning to 'just enjoy it all much more', adding that filming the prequels was made more complicated due to the emerging technology that was being used at the time.

“It was all blue screen and green screen, and it was hard to imagine it,” he said. “But now things have moved on so much. A lot of what you see is what we will see on the set. I don’t know if you’ve seen the behind-the-scenes of The Mandalorian series, but they employ that incredible screen. It’s pretty amazing. It makes you feel like you’re in the place, it’s going to feel realer for us as actors. And I think we’ll be using some of that technology on our show.”

The tech he's referring to is that employed by showrunner Jon Favreau, which finds the show's sets backed with huge LCD screens showing photo-real backgrounds, rather than green screens.

“I do have an idea what it's going to be about,” he added. “But I'm not going to tell you.”

The series was planned to go into production in early 2021, according to reports.