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Taika Waititi tackling two Charlie & The Chocolate Factory adaptations for Netflix

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

Story by Jack Foley

THOR: Ragnarok filmmaker Taika Waititi has closed a deal with Netflix to write, direct and executive produce two original animated series based on the world Roald Dahl created in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory.

Weeks after winning an Oscar for his latest work, Jojo Rabbit, Waititi has been chosen to create two new shows that 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”.

Hence, the first series will be based on the world and characters of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, while the second is described as a wholly original take on the Oompa-Loompas, the small song-loving humans who worked in Willy Wonka’s infamous factory.

Both shows will take the form of animated event series and form the first steps in developing the many works of Dahl for the streaming giant, following the deal that was closed with the Dahl estate in 2018.

The company is also seeking high-profile names to adapt stories such as Matilda, The BFG and The Twits, among others.

Commenting on the deal, Melissa Cobb, Netflix vp of original animation, said: “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.”

Gideon Simeloff, commercial and entertainment director for The Roald Dahl Story Company, added: “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.”

Waititi is currently one of Hollywood’s most in-demand writer-directors following his work for Marvel and his Oscar-winning success with Jojo Rabbit.

On top of the two Dahl series, Waititi is in postproduction on Searchlight’s soccer comedy Next Goal Wins while also prepping Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder, which he’s writing and directing.

There is also some Star Wars in his future, as he’s in talks with Lucasfilm to develop a movie and could work more on The Mandalorian, which he has already been an integral part of.

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory has previously been adapted into movies, games and musicals, with perhaps the most famous being the Gene Wilder-starring cult classic, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp teamed up for a translation in 2005 while a recent West End stage production broke sales records.