In the wake of winning the best adapated screenplay Oscar for Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi is attached to write, direct, and executive produce two original animated series for Netflix based off Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The first will be based on that book’s characters, and the second is a wholly original take on the Oompa-Loompas. While capturing the spirit of Dahl’s book, both series will build out the world beyond the author’s pages.
Waititi’s boarding these two series reps the start of an extensive partnership between Netflix and The Roald Dahl Story Company, which plans to reimagine many of his beloved stories including Matilda, The BFG, The Twits, and others. They will join a growing slate of Netflix animated family pics including Oscar nominated Klaus from Sergio Pablos, The Willoughbys from Kris Pearn and Over The Moon from Glen Keane in 2020.
“I grew up reading Dahl stories and lived large parts of my young life in those magical worlds, so finding just the right creative partner to bring Willy Wonka, Charlie and the Oompa-Loompas to life in animation was a daunting task…until Taika walked into the room. Then, it was really obvious. If Dahl had created a character of a filmmaker to adapt his work, I’m pretty sure he would have created Taika,” said Netflix Vice President of Original Animation Melissa Cobb.
“In the words of Willy Wonka himself – we are ‘Delighted! Charmed! Overjoyed!’ with Taika’s appointment on this project. There is something undeniably Wonka-esque about Taika’s creative flair and inimitable sense of humor and we cannot think of anyone more perfectly suited to leading the creative charge on these first of their kind, feature quality Netflix shows,” added Gideon Simeloff, Commercial and Entertainment Director, Roald Dahl Story Company.
Waititi’s feature credits as director, writer, producer include Disney/Marvel’s $854M-grossing Thor: Ragnarok for Marvel, and its upcoming sequel Thor: Love and Thunder. Waititi not only wrote, but directed and starred in Searchlight’s Jojo Rabbi, which was also nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. He’s working with Searchlight again on the soccer comedy feature Next Goal Wins. Other feature credits include his indie movie Hunt For The Wilderpeople, What We Do In The Shadows, Boy, and the Oscar-nominated short film, Two Cars, One Night. In television, Waititi directed the season one finale of The Mandalorian on Disney+, and he served as EP, co-writer, and director of last year’s TV adaptation of What We Do In The Shadows on FX, now going into its second season on FX.
Dahl’s books have sold over 300M worldwide with a book sold every 2.5 seconds. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is his No. 1 bestseller.