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Taika Waititi Is Making Two New Animated Netflix Shows Based on 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'

They're part of the streaming platform's previously announced plans to adapt 16 of Roald Dahl's classic books.
By Sarah Ward
March 07, 2020
By Sarah Ward
March 07, 2020

Back in 2018, the big friendly giant of the streaming world announced that it had found itself a golden ticket, with Netflix planning to bring the work of beloved author Roald Dahl to its platform. But if that news made you more excited than Charlie Bucket walking into Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, you've probably noticed that nothing else has happened over the past year — until now.

While Netflix's new Dahl-based shows aren't hitting the streamer just yet, the company has revealed just what it's focusing on to begin with — and who they're working with. To the surprise of no one given that it has already been adapted into a movie twice, as well as into a stage musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the first book getting the Netflix treatment. To the delight of fans of Boy, What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi will be writing, directing and executive producing two series based on the beloved tale about a poverty-stricken boy visiting a sweet and wondrous place.

The first, called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, will be based on the world and characters of the book — so you can probably expect everlasting gobstoppers and chocolate rivers aplenty, plus appearances not only by the Bucket family, but by Veruca Salt, Augustus Gloop and Willy Wonka, too. If you noticed that we didn't mention Oompa-Loompas above, that's because they're getting their own show. It's named The Oompa-Loompas, naturally, and it'll offer a new take on the factory's small human workers.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Fresh from winning an Oscar for Jojo Rabbit, Waititi is presumably slotting the two animated programs onto his schedule after upcoming Marvel sequel Thor: Love and Thunder. Whenever the Netflix shows do join the New Zealand filmmaker's increasingly busy resume, they'll "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," according to the streaming platform's announcement.

In total, a whopping 16 of Dahl's classic books are in Netflix's sights. Teaming up with The Roald Dahl Story Company, the outfit is turning everything from Matilda to The Twits into new animated television shows — and The BFGEsio TrotGeorge's Marvellous MedicineThe Enormous CrocodileThe Giraffe and the Pelly and MeHenry SugarBilly and the MinpinsThe Magic FingerDirty Beasts and Rhyme Stew as well.

Dahl's autobiographical efforts Boy – Tales of Childhood and Going Solo will also hit the service, with one detailing Dahl's youth and the other delving into his journeys to Africa as well as his service in World War II. For many, including the tales about the author himself, it'll be the first time that they've been adapted for the screen.

Netflix plans to turn Dahl's stories into event series and specials — so limited-run shows across a number of episodes, plus one-offs. There's still no word on when work will start, however, or when Waititi's or any of the other series will start dropping on the platform — although you can watch the 90s live-action versions of Matilda and The Witches on the streamer right now.

If you're keen for a taste of the first-ever screen adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, revisit the trailer for 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory below:

Top image: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Published on March 07, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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