It was considered impossible to make, but somehow New Zealand director Taika Waititi (“What We Do In Shadows,” “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”) has found a way.
Isaac Adamson’s script “Bubbles” topped the Black List in 2015 and tells the story of Bubbles the Chimp – the baby chimpanzee adopted by pop star Michael Jackson. Narrating his own story, Bubbles details his life within The King of Pop’s inner circle through the scandals that later rocked Jackson’s life and eventually led to Bubbles’ release.
No-one seemed quite sure how to do it, but now they’ve found a way – Waititi and animator Mark Gustafson have signed on to co-direct the project as a stop-motion animated film. In a statement, Waititi says:
“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. 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.”
Waititi is currently editing “Thor: Ragnarok” which will be out in November. With stop-motion a slow process that will take a good few years, Waititi could also continue to develop other projects.