Taika Waititi ‘James and the Giant Peach’ Reading to Benefit COVID-19 – Variety

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Oscar-winning director Taika Waititi is heading up a retelling of Roald Dahl’s basic “James and the Giant Peach” with an all-star forged to assist in the battle towards COVID-19.

Waititi, whose credit embody “Thor: Ragnarok,” “The Mandalorian” and “Jojo Rabbit,” hosts an entire studying of the whole e book in 10 installments, that includes company together with Ryan Reynolds, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson and Cara Delevingne.

Waititi already is in enterprise with the Roald Dahl Story Co.: Earlier this yr he was introduced as the author, director and government producer of two unique animated sequence for Netflix based mostly on Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Manufacturing facility.” Individually, he’s additionally on deck to direct a brand new “Star Wars” film for Lucasfilm.

The celeb-studded “James and the Giant Peach” readings can be accessible completely on the official Roald Dahl YouTube channel, with the first two installments accessible Monday (Might 18). The primary episode options brothers Chris and Liam Hemsworth — performing collectively for the first time — alongside Nick Kroll. Episode 2’s readers are Meryl Streep and Benedict Cumberbatch. The remaining installments can be launched Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. PST/6 p.m. BST.

In an announcement, Waititi stated: “Being an grownup youngster myself and having learn ‘James and the Giant Peach’ to my women a number of instances, I’m excited to give you the chance to companion with my pals, the Dahl workforce and Companions In Well being and retell this story to assist these most in want proper now. This wacky, fantastic story is about resilience in youngsters, overcome adversity and coping with a way of isolation which couldn’t been extra related immediately.”

The “James and the Giant Peach” e book studying will elevate funds for Companions In Well being, a world well being nonprofit based by Roald Dahl’s daugther, Opehlia Dahl, whose mission consists of combating COVID-19 and supporting public well being methods in the most weak components of the world. The Roald Dahl Story Co. introduced a donation-matching dedication of up to $1 million. The corporate just lately donated $1.three million to PIH for maternal well being in Sierra Leone.

Stars who’re becoming a member of Waititi to learn over the course of the 10 episodes embody: 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.

Ophelia Dahl commented: “My dad instilled in us as youngsters the notion that creativeness will spark a sequence response of potentialities — we are able to dream endlessly about concepts and make them actual… We’re so grateful to Taika Waititi and the Roald Dahl Story Firm for pulling collectively this extraordinary initiative and wonderful array of expertise. It’s going to undoubtedly assist in the battle towards the long-standing well being inequities we see in lots of components of the world.”

Donations could be made to Companions In Well being at pih.org/james-and-the-giant-peach.

“James and the Giant Peach,” first revealed in 1961, was Dahl’s first youngsters’s e book and amongst his most beloved titles with over 28 million copies bought to date globally.

In the story, orphan James Henry Trotter — who lives with two horrible aunts — discovers an enormous, magical peach in the backyard, through which he embarks on a surreal journey with seven anthropomorphic backyard bugs. The late writer’s firm, in saying the Waititi-hosted studying sequence, stated the e book’s “themes of resilience, perseverance and the enduring energy of friendship really feel extra related now than ever.”

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