‘Jojo Rabbit’ director Taika Waititi joins Liam and Chris Hemsworth for Roald Dahl read-along

  • The man who helmed Marvel’s ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ has invited celebrity friends to join him in reading ‘James and the Giant Peach’
  • The initiative has been set up to raise money for health care charity Partners in Health in their fight against Covid-19
Karly Cox |

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Waititi is leading a star-studded cast in a reading of Dahl’s 1961 classic. Photo: Reuters

The Oscar-winning director of Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi, is taking his unique sense of humour to YouTube to raise money for charity. He will lead a star-studded cast in a 10-episode reading of children’s author Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach.

You can watch the first episode here.

New episodes will be released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1pm Eastern US time (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings, 1am HKT).

Actors already announced to take part include Chris Hemsworth, who starred in Waititi’s Marvel directorial debut, Thor: Ragnarok, and his brother Liam; Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch; multi-Oscar winner Meryl Streep; Never Have I Ever writer Mindy Kaling; and actor and general mischief-maker Ryan Reynolds.

James and the Giant Peach, published in 1961, was Dahl’s first classic novel for children. It tells the story of a boy who lives with his two horrible aunts, until one day, a giant peach begins to grow in the garden. He finds a tunnel into its centre, and meets the giant insects inhabitants, and starts an incredible adventure away from his miserable home.

Daniel Radcliffe a fitting start to J. K. Rowling’s #HarryPotterAtHome campaign

Viewers of the YouTube series will be encouraged to donate to Partners in Health, a global non-profit organisation that brings health care to the vulnerable, and currently working in the fight against Covid-19. The Roald Dahl Story Company has committed to matching the first US$1 million donated.

The series echoes J. K. Rowling’s recent project, where actors and other celebrities read a chapter from her first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in an effort to encourage people to stay at home during the coronavirus.

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