Taika Waititi and friends to retell Roald Dahl’s James and The Giant Peach

AAR Roald Dahl James and The Giant PeachThe Roald Dahl Story Company has brought together Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, The Mandalorian, Jojo Rabbit) and a host of global stars to retell the beloved children’s novel James and the Giant Peach.

The first two episodes of James and the Giant Peach, with Taika and Friends are now available and feature award-winning talent including Meryl Streep, Benedict Cumberbatch, Nick Kroll, and brothers Chris and Liam Hemsworth reading portions of the book from their homes.

New episodes will be published every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, with viewers able to expect appearances from a whole host of collaborators. The ten-part series promises many exciting and unexpected combinations, the biggest names in film, television, fashion and music coming together to perform each section of the tale. The line-up of readers has over 40 Emmys, Grammys, Oscars and Tony award wins between them.

As well as other surprise readers, the following stars will all read along with Taika over the course of 10 episodes including Utkarsh Ambudkar, Cate Blanchett, Jamie Cullum, Benedict Cumberbatch, Roman Griffin Davis, Cara Delevingne, Cynthia Erivo, Beanie Feldstein, Josh Gad, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Hemsworth, Mindy Kaling, Nick Kroll, Kumail Nanjiani, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Billy Porter, Gordon Ramsay, Eddie Redmayne, Ryan Reynolds, Ben Schwartz, Meryl Streep, Tessa Thompson, Olivia Wilde, Ruth Wilson and Archie Yates.

The collaboration between the Roald Dahl Story Company, Waititi and his illustrious line up of friends aims to raise money for Partners In Health – a medical and social justice organization fighting COVID-19 and supporting public health systems in some of the most vulnerable communities around the world. The Roald Dahl Story Company has committed to matching $1 million of donations, with other donors lined up for matching beyond this milestone.

The campaign forms part of a long-term charitable commitment for the Roald Dahl Story Company who recently donated $1.3 million to Partners In Health for maternal health in Sierra Leone. Overall, The Roald Dahl Story Company and Dahl Family have given over $12 million to date to charitable causes.

The Roald Dahl Story Company will also be supporting their other core charity partners at this challenging time – including Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity in the UK, who provide specialist nurses to seriously ill children and whose important work for the UK’s National Health Service requires support now more than ever.

Waititi was recently announced as the writer, director and executive producer of two original Roald Dahl animated series for Netflix as part of an extended raft of animated Roald Dahl TV. Waititi will develop an original series based on the world and characters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and develop an original show centred on the Oompa-Loompas.

“Being an adult child myself and having read James and the Giant Peach to my girls multiple times, I’m excited to be able to partner with my friends, the Dahl team and Partners In Health and re-tell this story to help those most in need right now,” said Taika Waititi. “This wacky, wonderful tale is about resilience in children, triumph over adversity and dealing with a sense of isolation which couldn’t been more relevant today.”

With 300 million books sold and one book sold every 2.5 seconds, Roald Dahl stories continue to grow in popularity. James and the Giant Peach is one of Roald Dahl’s most beloved titles with over 28 million books sold to date globally. Published over 50 years ago – the stories themes of resilience, perseverance and the enduring power of friendship feel more relevant now than ever.

The first two episodes of James and the Giant Peach, with Taika and Friends are now available to view on the Roald Dahl YouTube channel. The remaining installments will be released every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3am AEST. For more information, visit: www.roalddahl.com for details.

Image: James and the Giant Peach, with Taika and Friends (supplied)