Just weeks after winning the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi has closed a deal with Netflix to write, direct, and executive produce two original animated series based on celebrated author Ronald Dahl’s works.
The first series is said to be based on the world and characters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, while the second is described as an original take on the Oompa-Loompas, the small humans who worked in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. According to Netflix, the shows will retain the spirit and tone of the original story while also building out the world and characters “far beyond the pages of the Dahl book.”
“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.
Dahl’s book has been adapted into countless movies, games, and musicals. The most famous iteration was the 1971 Gene Wilder-starring classic, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
“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 has quickly become one of the most popular filmmakers in Hollywood. His latest film, Jojo Rabbit, was an eccentric and sly take on WWII and Thor: Ragnarok managed to bring life and ingenuity to a declining superhero franchise.
Waititi is currently in post-production on Searchlight’s soccer comedy Next Goal Wins and he’s also prepping Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder, which he will be writing and directing. Additionally, the director is currently in talks with Lucasfilm to develop a Star Wars movie and could continue more of his work on the Disney+ series The Mandalorian.