Taika Waititi has spent the last year or so trying to unseat Dwayne Johnson for the title of Busiest Man in Hollywood.
The Jojo Rabbit Oscar winner has now added yet another project to his crowded slate — a pair of animated TV series based around Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
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Waititi has been drafted in by Netflix to adapt the 1964 children’s novel as part of the streamer’s new deal with the Roald Dahl estate, announced in 2018.
In a pair of tweets, Netflix announced that Waititi will write and direct a series based on the novel itself, as well as a separate series that will be “a wholly original take on the Oompa-Loompas”.
These two series are just the beginning – Matilda, The BFG, The Twits, and many other beloved Dahl stories are set to follow soon!— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) March 5, 2020
Netflix teased that there are new versions of Matilda, The BFG and The Twits to come in animated form.
The streamer is also set to be the worldwide home of the upcoming adaptation of Matilda the Musical, which will get a cinema release in the UK while remaining a Netflix Original elsewhere in the world.
In a statement reported by IndieWire, Netflix said the new 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”.
Gideon Simeloff, commercial and entertainment director of the Roald Dahl Story Company, said there was something “undeniably Wonka-esque about Taika’s creative flair and inimitable sense of humour”.
This particular Dahl story has, of course, been adapted for the big screen twice before.
In 1971, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory featured an iconic Gene Wilder performance as the titular chocolatier.
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Tim Burton’s less widely loved 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, meanwhile, starred Johnny Depp as the eccentric lead.
Yet another big screen take on the story — in the form of a Wonka-focused prequel — has been discussed in recent years, with Paddington director Paul King attached.
Waititi, meanwhile, is currently balancing an incredible selection of projects, in the wake of his Best Adapted Screenplay victory at the Oscars.
He has recently wrapped filming on the based-on-truth football story Next Goal Wins and has a TV pilot of Time Bandits in the pipeline for Apple.
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Meanwhile, he remains hard at work on the pre-production for Thor: Love and Thunder, which will see Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster take up the Mighty Thor moniker.
He also, of course, still has his long-gestating version of Akira on the way, though that project is very much on the back-burner while Waititi plays in the world of Oompa-Loompas.