PINOCCHIO - A New Film Adaptation of the Popular Fairy Tale

featuring Mario Adorf, Ulrich Tukur, Inka Friedrich, Benjamin Sadler, Florian Lukas and Sandra Hüller

Producer Michael Smeaton, director Anna Justice and Ulrich Tukur ©WDR


On March 26th shooting began of the new film adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s classic Pinocchio not far from Izmir, Turkey. The two-part event movie, which is scheduled for transmission during the ARD Christmas program in December, is a co-production by FFP New Media (Executive Producer: Michael Smeaton, Producer: Anemone Müller) in association with ARD and WDR (Head of Children's and Family Programs: Brigitta Mühlenbeck, Editors: Wolfgang Wegmann, Dörte Hanke), and is funded by the North Rhine-Westphalia Film and Media Fund. The script was written by Alexandra Maxeiner (author of the ZDF series Siebenstein), while the director, Anna Justice, is also known for Max Minsky + ich and Remembrance. The film will be made in the form of a mini-series in two 90-minute parts and will be shot as a combination of historical live action film and computer animation. With Mario Adorf, Ulrich Tukur, Inka Friedrich, Benjamin Sadler, Florian Lukas and Sandra Hüller as the main cast, FFP New Media has put together a top-class ensemble.


Filming in Turkey will finish at the end of April. After that, shooting will continue in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, at the MMC studios in Cologne and at Dreiborn Castle in Schleiden, until May 9th.


The story focusses on a piece of pine-wood which falls into the hands of the poor old toymaker Geppetto (Mario Adorf). He carves it into a puppet, which he names Pinocchio. Geppetto is delighted when this puppet suddenly comes to life, but Pinocchio is full of reckless whims and wild ideas. Before long his crazy escapades cause considerable damage in the village, creating huge problems for Geppetto – who loses his temper with his "son". Pinocchio runs away from home and stumbles through a series of madcap adventures: he meets the puppeteer Mangiafuoco (Ulrich Tukur), who almost throws him on the fire; he is tricked by two petty gangsters, the Fox and the Cat; he is abducted and transformed into a donkey by an evil coachman – and then sold to a circus-owner who decides to turn him into salami. Meanwhile, Geppetto is searching desperately for Pinocchio and ends up being swallowed by a whale. But at the end of his long and thrilling adventures, Pinocchio – having finally learned to be considerate and courageous – manages to rescue his father from the whale and becomes a real boy.


Mario Adorf already has experience of a Pinocchio film: he starred in an adaptation back in 1972, in which he played the circus director alongside Gina Lollobrigida. Now the 82-year-old actor takes on the role of Pinocchio’s father, the loveable toymaker Geppetto. Michael Smeaton: "I couldn’t have imagined Pinocchio without Mario Adorf. So I approached him about taking the part even before I proposed the project to the broadcaster WDR. Adorf was immediately delighted at the prospect of playing a role in this fairy tale once again – this time as Geppetto."