Sunday, 21 May 2017

Taikia Waititi set to direct Bubbles

He last brought us the wonderful Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016) and has been having fun in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Thor: Ragnarok, but Taika Waititi appears ready to head to an even stranger place. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that he has signed on to co-direct Bubbles, a stop motion movie about the life of Michael Jackson's pet chimp.

Mark Gustafson, who has worked on movies such as Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) and is developing a new Pinocchio with Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim), is on to co-direct the new film, which is coming from the team behind Anomalisa (2015).

Isaac Adamson's screenplay chronicles the ape's friendship with the King Of Pop after Jackson adopted him from a Texas research facility and gave him a home at his Neverland ranch in 1983. He lived with the megastar until he became too aggressive (Bubbles, not Jacko) and was moved to a primate sanctuary in Florida, where he still lives.

"It's an idea that fascinates me and one I want to develop further," says Waititi, who previously channeled obsession with Jackson through 2010 comedy Boy. "Most people know I'm a huge Michael Jackson fan, so the main thing for me is to make sure it's respectful of him and his legacy. I'm not interested in making a biopic; I want to focus on telling a story that blends fact and fantasy, about an animal trying to make sense of the world. This film is not about Michael Jackson because that's not a story for me to tell – or a story I'd be comfortable telling – it's about a chimpanzee's fascinating journey through the complex jungle of human life. I think animation is the only way to approach a story like this."

There is no date for this one to arrive yet, but it will certainly take time given the painstaking nature of stop motion. Thor: Ragnarok, meanwhile, will arrive in cinemas on 27 October in the UK and 3 November in the US.

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