A world of pure imagination that defies expectation is coming to Netflix. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming service is teaming up with none other than Taika Waititi to bring Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to life. The Oscar-winning writer recently closed a deal to write, executive produce, and direct two original animated series based on author Roald Dahl’s work. The second series will feature the beloved (and wonderfully orange) Oompa-Loompas in their own story, which will presumably include lots of songs.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that both Netflix shows will maintain the spirit and tone of the original story, but will expand on Dahl’s characters in a different way. It’s a great avenue to answer those questions that we’ve had about the Oompa-Loompas and Loompaland since childhood. Where is Loompaland anyway, and why was Willy Wonka there in the first place?
The 1964 children’s novel about a young boy who wins a golden ticket for a trip inside Willy Wonka’s bizarre chocolate factory has seen its share of adaptations over the years. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was famously brought to life on the big screen in 1971 with Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The classic film stars Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket and Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka.
Since then, we have seen a reimagined movie, plays, an opera event, games, and many takes on this story. This odd and whimsical saga is perfect for an animated series that will capture the hearts of generations of people who grew up with the book and original musical as well as younger kids who might be experiencing the story for the first time.
And honestly, the power that Taika Waititi holds right now is undeniable. He has Thor: Ragnarok, Jojo Rabbit, and The Mandalorian season one under his belt and he’s already gearing up for the fourth installment in the Thor movie franchise. How will be be able to do it all?! Everything he touches turns into a golden ticket so fans of his work will certainly check it out.
This sentiment is certainly shared by Melissa Cobb, Netflix VP of Original Animation. She released a statement about the joy of Dahl’s work and how Waititi made an intimidating task easier.
“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.”
He certainly has the energy and wit needed to make both of these series engaging and fun. There’s currently no word on when production will start nor about who will voice the series yet. So, until then, Willy Wonka fans will have to trust that things will line up perfectly for this fresh take on a beloved adventure.
Feature Image: Searchlight Pictures