Taika Waititi Helming Netflix Animated Series Based on Willy Wonka, Roald Dahl Stories

Taika Waititi is one of the hottest filmmakers in show business right now, and his talents branch into writing, directing, producing, and acting.

Waititi is responsible for favorites such as Thor (past and future films), The Mandalorian, Jojo Rabbit, What We Do in the Shadows, and plenty more. Perhaps that’s what makes him the perfect candidate to tackle the whimsical classics created by Roald Dahl.  

Taika Waititi
Taika Waititi | Jeff Kravitz/Academy Awards Press Room/Getty

Netflix announces partnership with Taika Waititi

The streamer tapped Waititi to helm two new animated series based on the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Oompa-Loompas. Both will be original, fresh takes on the tales created by famed children’s author Roald Dahl. Netflix made the announcement in a press release:

“Celebrated and Academy Award-winning writer, director, and actor Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: RagnarokHunt for the Wilderpeople) is set to write, direct, and executive produce two original animated series for Netflix. The first is a series based on the world and characters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The second is a wholly original take on the Oompa-Loompas, who will star in their own event series. The shows 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.”

Netflix has a fairly successful viewership track record in the animation department, counting shows like The Dragon Prince, Castlevania, Klaus, and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power as winners.

More Roald Dahl stories will be told on Netflix

Netflix will expand its animated content to include other Dahl stories thanks to an agreement with the Roald Dahl Story Company. Waititi’s involvement is just the tip of the iceberg.

According to Netflix, audiences will see retellings of old favorites such as Matilda, The B.F.G., and The Twits.

The BFG, Matilda, The Twits, and a host of other iconic Roald Dahl stories will soon join Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Oompa-Loompas as Netflix becomes the home of a first-of-its-kind slate of animation extending across the Roald Dahl story universe.”

The venture is part of Netflix’s plan to grow its family programming across the board, and the company is looking forward to welcoming Waititi and other filmmakers into the fold.

Why Netflix and Dahl’s company thought Waititi was perfect

Like Tim Burton, Waititi’s style is uniquely suited for fantasy with a good dose of humor. It’s one of the reasons Netflix and the Roald Dahl Story Company found him to be a great fit for the job.

Netflix’s VP of Original Animation, Melissa Cobb, shared her excitement:

“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.”

The Dahl Story Company echoed that sentiment by adding:

“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.”

Both series are in the early development stages, but fans of all ages have something to look forward to. As Deadline points out, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of Dahl’s most popular books with more than 300 million copies sold globally.