Even though writer/director Taika Waititi is gearing up to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Thor: Love & Thunder, he’ll soon be entering a different world of previously established intellectual property. And it’ll be animated too.
Netflix has announced that the Oscar-winning writer/director of Jojo Rabbit will be writing, directing and executive producing two new animated series inspired by Roald Dahl‘s classic children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Here’s the announcement Netflix made about the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory animated shows:
The first is based on the world and characters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The second is a wholly original take on the Oompa-Loompas, that builds out their world pic.twitter.com/TqIzxTlRSf
— Netflix US (@netflix) March 5, 2020
As you can see in the announcement, the first series is “based on the world and characters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Does that mean this will be some kind of new adaptation of the original book that takes certain liberties with characters? Or has Taika Waititi come up with something completely different that only uses the characters and world that Roald Dahl created? Honestly, just the fact that Taika Waititi is working in animation now is an exciting enough prospect for me to be interested either way, so bring on the chocolate!
Moving on to the second series, Netflix says it’s “a wholly original take on the Oompa-Loompas, that builds out their world.” Tim Burton’s adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory attempted to show more background of the Oompa-Loompas, but this seems to be something squarely focused on them without the bells and whistles of the story about Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
What makes this Oompa-Loompas series most intriguing is that it’s not hard to imagine Taika Waititi using the little orange-faced, green-haired characters as a conduit to tell a story inspired by Indigenous culture. The Oompa-Loompas could easily be presented as an entirely different culture, and Waititi can bring his passion for Indigenous stories into their world. Since the Oompa-Loompas don’t need to be represented by a specific race, Waititi could even use it as an opportunity to give more Indigenous actors prominent roles.
No matter what the core ideas are in these Charlie and the Chocolate Factory animated shows, I’m simply giddy that Taika Waititi will be playing in this world. Knowing how he shook up the Thor franchise and created a hilarious anti-hate satire about the Nazis, he clearly has a penchant for telling original stories with a sharp comedic style. Giving him an animated world will only enhance his creative side, and I can’t wait to see how these turn out.
Netflix announced they would be digging into Roald Dahl’s library back in the fall of 2018, so there will be plenty more projects to come from the author’s extensive collection of books. Stay tuned to see what they tackle next.
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