In an interview with EW, the Pan's Labyrinth helmer revealed details of the new film, which he is co-directing with Fantastic Mr Fox animator Mark Gustafson.
Del Toro revealed that he has great affection for the animated version, claiming that the movie is "one of my favourite animated movies of all time".
However, he also made it clear that the new version will be taking a different approach to the material, saying that it will be "more adolescent, more teenage".
He added: "I hesitate to say just darker, because it's not just darker. It is a tale adapted to a more complex reality, more complex ethical questions. It's more a tale for youth than a tale for just kids."
He went on to say that while the scenes that take place in Pleasure Island in the 1940 adaptation are "pretty scary", they will be "much more intense" in his version.
Daniel Radcliffe has already been linked with a role in the film, while Del Toro said in the interview that his ideal pick for Geppetto would be singer Tom Waits.
The screenwriter and director is also currently working on a new adaptation of Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson, and an original sci-fi adventure entitled Pacific Rim, due out in 2013.