Taika Waititi and Animator Mark Gustafson to Direct Michael Jackson Chimp Movie ‘Bubbles’
Taika Waititi, you just directed a Marvel movie about a thunder god’s adventures through mythical realms with an angry green giant — what will you do next? The answer is not a trip to Disney Land (well, maybe?), but it’s definitely going to be one heck of a trip. Waititi is teaming up with animator Mark Gustafson to direct a stop-motion animated film about…Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee.
For those unfamiliar, Bubbles is kind of a mind-blowing project: Isaac Adamson’s bonkers screenplay nabbed a much-deserved spot (probably more deserved than others) on the Black List back in 2015 with a totally bananas concept — a biopic told from the perspective of Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee, the eponymous Bubbles. Last year, Dan Harmon’s Starburns Industries boarded the project with an eye to adapt the script as a stop-motion feature in the vein of their critically-acclaimed drama Anomalisa. All of which sounded kind of amazing.
As Deadline reports, the project just became 10 times more amazing as Taika Waititi has come aboard to co-direct with Mark Gustafson, a veteran animator whose credits include Fantastic Mr. Fox and the television series The PJs. Waititi, as you well know, recently wrapped production on Thor: Ragnarok for Marvel — he’s also the genius filmmaker who brought us last year’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople and the hilarious vampire mock-doc What We Do in the Shadows.
Adamson’s screenplay for Bubbles centers on the life of the titular chimp, who was adopted by Michael Jackson in the early ’80s and slept in a crib at Neverland Ranch. The screenplay features voiceover narration from Bubbles himself, making the biopic all the more surreal. It’s kind of amazing that this movie is actually happening, and even more so that Waititi is co-directing it.