Winning an Oscar is one way of making some famous friends, and recent Oscar winner Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) seems to have made quite a few. Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Ryan Reynolds, Josh Gad, Billy Porter, and Lupita Nyong’o are just a handful of the names he’s recruited for a 10-part reading of Roald Dahl’s James And The Giant Peach.
A charitable endeavor, all donations secured via the project will go to Partners in Health, an organization devoted to providing health care to the underprivileged. Dahl’s daughter, Ophelia, is a co-founder and board chair. Also swinging by via Zoom will be Ben Schwartz, Mindy Kaling, Olivia Wilde, Beanie Feldstein, and his JoJo Rabbit stars, Roman Griffin Davis and Archie Yates. Gordon Ramsey will also participate, no doubt finding some way to throw in a “for FUCK’S sake!”
“Don’t do your own accents,” he tells them in the below trailer for the series. “Make an effort.”
The inaugural episodes can already be found via the Roald Dahl YouTube page, and we’ve shared them below. The first highlights not one, but two Hemsworth brothers—Chris and Liam—as well as comedian and actor Nick Kroll.
The second, meanwhile, features Streep and Benedict Cumberbatch, both of whom don’t hold back in terms of whimsy as they embrace the roles of Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge.
New episodes arrive on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 1 p.m. ET. Donations can be made here, and the Roald Dahl Story Company has committed to matching the first $1 million raised.
Dahl’s work, it seems, is heading for a renaissance. Netflix announced in late 2018 that it was planning on launching its own extended universe of the late author’s work, with titles like Matilda, The Twits, and Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator on the docket. Robert Zemeckis, too, is at work on his own adaptation of The Witches.
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