Taika Waititi isn’t one to wait idly between projects. He’s still deep in post-production on Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok, yet the writer/director/actor has already lined up his next gig. Alongside Mark Gustafson, he’ll co-direct Bubbles, a biopic centered around Michael Jackson’s chimp of the same name, based on Isaac Adamson’s acclaimed Black List screenplay.
How does one (or two) direct a monkey biopic, you might ask? Well, you animate it. Specifically, with stop-motion animation, in the vein of 2015’s perfectly phenomenal, incredibly powerful and totally, hilariously bizarre Anomalisa. The film will be brought to life through Starburns Industries, the very animation company which marvellously brought Anomalisa to existence. Here’s hoping they find the same success with this completely unusual, but deeply original and offbeat coming of age story as they did with their previous feature length triumph.
Waititi had the following to say regarding Bubbles in a statement released earlier today:
It’s an idea that fascinates me and one I want to develop further. 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.
As if the details didn’t give it away, don’t expect an average biopic with this one. The director continued on by saying:
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. I really loved Anomalisa because it was beautiful and authentic in its meditation on loneliness. 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.
There’s literally nothing about Bubbles that doesn’t excite me. We’ll obviously have a little while to wait before we see it, particularly since animation does take some time, but I’ll be just as eager then as I will be now. In a time where every single movie is basically a remake, reboot, sequel and/or lazy cash grab, this is definitely a project worth getting excited about.