Dahl’s book was first adapted for the screen in 1971, with Gene Wilder starring as chocolate factory owner, Willy Wonka. Director Tim Burton remade the movie in 2005 with Johnny Depp in the lead role.
Netflix said that it plans to “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.”
Gideon Simeloff, commercial and entertainment director of Roald Dahl Story Company, quoted Wonka when expressing his enthusiasm for Waititi’s upcoming project.
“In the words of Willy Wonka himself — we are ‘Delighted! Charmed! Overjoyed!’ with Taika’s appointment on this project,” Simeloff said in a statement.
Netflix’s Vice President of Original Animation Melissa Cobb also expressed excitement over the filmmaker’s partnership with the streaming service.
“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,” Cobb said in a statement. “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.”