Magazine article Screen International

Taika Waititi to Direct Michael Jackson Chimp Animation 'Bubbles'

Magazine article Screen International

Taika Waititi to Direct Michael Jackson Chimp Animation 'Bubbles'

Article excerpt

In perhaps the most startlingly original high-level package of this week's European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, Rocket Science has announced that Taika Waititi will direct the stop-motion feature Bubbles, a coming-of-age story about Michael Jackson's celebrity pet chimpanzee.

Waititi, the hotshot New Zealand director behind Hunt For The Wilderpeople, TV's The Inbetweeners and upcoming Marvel Studios tentpole Thor: Ragnarok, will work alongside co-director Mark Gustafon, who served as animation director on Fantastic Mr Fox.

Andrew Kortschak and Walter Kortschak of End Cue are producing with Dan Harmon's Starburns Industries, the animators behind 2016 best animation feature Oscar nominee Anomalisa.

Rocket Science has soft-launched Bubbles to international buyers in Berlin ahead of a major push in Cannes. CAA represents US rights.

The project is based on Isaac Adamson's screenplay that topped the 2015 Black List and recounts the life of the late superstar's pet. Adamson serves as executive producer with Lee Stobby.

Rocket Science's Thorsten Schumacher said: "You think you've seen it all and then you read Bubbles, which is just so deeply original. Add Dan Harmon and Starburns Industries and you think it couldn't get any better... but it does! Taika joining as director - bringing his warmth, empathy and humour - and suddenly all the pieces fit perfectly.

"We are extremely grateful to End Cue and CAA for having the vision to put this unique project together and couldn't be more proud to be partnering with such an ingenious team. …

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