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Taika Waititi to Lead Reading of ‘James and the Giant Peach’ for Roald Dahl YouTube Channel

Stephanie Sengwe

Taika Waititi is picking up where Michelle Obama left off with her “Mondays with Michelle” book reading series. According to Variety, the director, who won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay for “Jojo Rabbit,” will lead a reading of Roald Dahl’s classic “James and the Giant Peach.” The readings will raise money for Partners In Health, a global health nonprofit whose mission includes fighting COVID-19 and supporting public health systems in the most vulnerable parts of the world. The nonprofit was founded by Roald Dahl’s daughter, Opehlia Dahl.

“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 retell this story to help those most in need right now,” Waititi said in a statement. “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.”

Waititi is enlisting the help of some famous friends for the 10-episode installments. The series premieres with two episodes today with brothers Chris and Liam Hemsworth as featured guests, along with Nick Kroll in the first episode, while Meryl Streep and Benedict Cumberbatch are in the second. Upcoming guests include Cate Blanchett, Cara Delevingne, Cynthia Erivo, Ruth Wilson, Mindy Kaling, Kumail Nanjiani, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Eddie Redmayne, Ryan Reynolds, Tessa Thompson, among a host of others. Episodes will be released Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1 p.m. ET.

Earlier this year, Netflix announced that they signed a deal with Waititi to write, direct and executive produce two original animated series based off of Roald Dahl’s books. Waititi will create the first series based on the world of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and for the second, he will take an entirely original spin on the beloved Oompa-Loompas.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix struck a deal with Dahl’s estate back in 2018 and the partnership with Waititi marks the first steps in developing some of the famed author’s works.