Taika Waititi is developing two animated Willy Wonka shows for Netflix. Known for his heartfelt and often eclectic movies, Waititi has become one of the most well-known filmmakers working in Hollywood today. Thor: Ragnarok, which Waititi directed, is generally regarded as one of the best titles associated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Credited with bringing an element of fun and color into Thor’s world, in addition to tapping into Chris Hemsworth’s gift for comedy, Waititi is hoping to bring that same level of success to Thor: Love & Thunder. Outside the superhero realm, the New Zealand director has garnered critical acclaim for Jojo Rabbit. The film, which centers around a boy who has Adolf Hitler as an imaginary friend, earned Waititi an Academy Award in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. For his adaptations of Willy Wonka, however, he’ll be moving to the small screen.
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Based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a 1964 children’s novel by Roald Dahl, the world of Willy Wonka has lent itself to explorations in other forms of entertainment. Most famously, in 1971, a feature film adaptation was released that starred Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. Directed by Mel Stuart, the film would later be held up as a cult classic. In 2005, Tim Burton helmed his own take on Dahl’s story. Although each adaptation is unique, the story tends to remain centered on a boy named Charlie and a group of children that visit a chocolate factory. A competition of moral character then unfolds, with Charlie emerging as the winner. In the two animated adaptations for Netflix, Waititi will look to expand his focus.
Related: Willy Wonka: 5 Reasons The 1971 Version Is The Best Adaptation (& 5 It’s Tim Burton’s Version)
According to Variety, Waititi is teaming up with Netflix to write, direct, and executive produce two animated Willy Wonka shows. One will be based on the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, while the other will zero in on the Oompa-Loompa characters. The Oompa-Loompas are, of course, small humans who were invited by Wonka to work in his factory. Paid for their work in cocoa beans, the Oompa-Loompas have been depicted as mischievous practical jokers who love to sing songs.
In a statement, Netflix said that the animated shows will retain the tone and the spirit of Dahl’s story while seeking to build out the world around that story. The two shows will mark the beginning of what is described as an “extensive partnership” between Netflix and The Roald Dahl Company, which will reimagine many of Dahl’s other stories. That includes Matilda, The BFG, and The Twits.
The two Netflix series also mark the latest project for Waititi. To go along with Thor 4, which is slated for release in 2021, Waititi is working on a Showtime project with Jude Law. Next Goal Wins, which Waititi directs, is currently in post-production. In front of the camera, Waititi will be appearing in Free Guy and The Suicide Squad. Many of these announced works, in addition to his credits long before signing on with Marvel, have a touch of delightful weirdness to them. That quality makes Waititi a good fit for the decidedly weird Willy Wonka.
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About The Author
Abdullah Al-Ghamdi joined Screen Rant in August 2019, focusing on movie and television news. In January of the same year, he wrote a 3500+ word piece on why Primo Colón is underrated. He considers it his finest work. When he’s not arguing for the merits of his favorite wrestler, he can be found posting reviews of varying lengths on Letterboxd. He’s also on Twitter, @dulealghamdi, though he doesn’t really tweet much.
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