Taika Waititi And Netflix Developing Two Animated CHOCOLATE FACTORY Shows

The first of many Netflix/Dahl shows.

Netflix is developing not one but two animated series based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - and according to Variety, Taika Waititi is their point man on both of them. He'll write, direct, and executive-produce both a series about Oompa-Loompas, and one based more generally on "the world of" the Roald Dahl novel. In a statement, Netflix said 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."

Waititi is a solid match for the Roald Dahl sensibility. He's got a similar sense of whimsy and oddness, not to mention a strong connection to his inner child. He's also free of the accusations of racism that have followed some of Dahl's work - not the least of which concern the Oompa-Loompas themselves, which were originally written as African pygmies brought to Britain to make chocolate for a rich entrepreneur. Not a great look, historically speaking. Even in their more fantastical renditions, there are issues present, but one suspects Waititi - who, as cinema's sole Oscar-winning indigenous screenwriter, turned even Thor: Ragnarok into a story about the perils of colonialism - will find a way to navigate those issues.

He'll also have to find a way to navigate an increasingly busy schedule. What We Do In The Shadows is heading towards its second season; Thor: Love and Thunder is in preproduction; he's making a sports movie based on documentary Next Goal Wins; he's appearing in Suicide Squad and Seven Stages To Achieve Eternal Bliss; developing horror comedy series The Auteur; working on a Flash Gordon reboot; adapting Time Bandits for Apple; and probably still being hounded by Lucasfilm to make a Star Wars film (or at least, as he's on record joking about, to develop one then get fired from it). He is not, however, working on Bubbles anymore, and probably not Akira either. So that's a load off. Still, the man is in real Guillermo del Toro territory here.

As for the shows themselves, we'll have to wait and see. If you'll remember, a partnership between Netflix and the Roald Dahl Story Company was announced a couple years ago, and this will not be the only programming that emerges from it. At the very least, they're developing animated shows based on Matilda, The BFG, and The Twits - "and many other beloved titles." I'm pulling for an Enormous Crocodile series, personally, but between all this and Robert Zemeckis' The Witches, we're in for a big Dahl resurgence regardless.