Taika Waititi confirmed to create two Roald Dahl classics for Netflix

goss 06/03/2020

Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi will be adapting one of Roald Dahl's most famous literary works for Netflix.

The streaming service announced on Friday that Waititi - hot off winning an Oscar for his Jojo Rabbit screenplay - will write, direct and produce two original animated shows. 

The first will be a series "based on the world and characters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory while the second with an original take on the Oompa-Loompa characters".

"The shows will retain the quintessential spirit and tone of the original story while building out the world and characters far beyond the pages of the Dahl book for the very first time," Netflix says.

The streaming service's vice president of original animation Melissa Cobb praised Waititi's work.

"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," Cobb said.

"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."

It's part of an extensive deal the streaming service has with The Roald Dahl Story Company. Other stories like MatildaThe BFG and The Twits are also going to be adapted. 

"In the words of Willy Wonka himself, we are 'Delighted! Charmed! Overjoyed!' with Taika's appointment on this project," added Gideon Simeloff, commercial and entertainment director at the Roald Dahl Story Company.  

"There is something undeniably Wonka-esque about Taika's creative flair and inimitable sense of humour and we cannot think of anyone more perfectly suited to leading the creative charge on these first of their kind, feature quality Netflix shows."

It isn't the first time Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been adapted. In 1971, Mel Stuart directed Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, while Johnny Depp took the role in a 2005 Tim Burton adaptation.