*A stop-motion animated feature about Michael Jackson’s famed pet chimpanzee has just landed a director.
Taika Waititi has signed on to helm Isaac Adamson’s script “Bubbles” alongside co-director Mark Gustafson.
According to Deadline.com, the coming-of-age story will be told in the vein of “Anomalisa,” which was nominated for the Best Animated Film Oscar after it caused a stir at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival and was snapped up by Paramount.
“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,” said Waititi. “I think animation is the only way to approach a story like this. I really loved ‘Anomalisa’ because it was beautiful and authentic in its meditation on loneliness.
Andrew Kortschak and Walter Kortschak of End Cue will produce the stop-motion animated feature with Dan Harmon’s Starburns Industries, alongside exec producers Adamson and Lee Stobby.
Added Waititi: “I’m really excited to be working with Dan Harmon and Starburns as we share similar sensibilities and want to tell human stories in unique and artistic ways.”
“It’s an idea that fascinates me and one I want to develop further,” Waititi said. “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.”
Waititi received an Oscar nom for his 2004 live-action short “Two Cars, One Night,” has worked on projects including “Eagle vs. Shark,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” and TV series “The Inbetweeners.” He is currently directing “Thor: Ragnarok.”