Watch Taika Waititi and All His Friends Read James and the Giant Peach for Charity

Taika Waititi takes a moment to “direct” his actors.
Image: Roald Dahl Story Company (YouTube)

“Do your own accents, make an effort.” Taika Waititi knows how to direct, even when running an online book club for charity. The Academy Award-winning filmmaker has partnered up with the Roald Dahl Story Company for a 10-part series where he and several other stars do a group reading of the classic story James and the Giant Peach—and the first two episodes are already here.


The Roald Dahl Group has shared the first two episodes of “James and the Giant Peach, with Taika and Friends,” a YouTube series hosted by Waititi with dozens of actors reprising key parts of the famous Roald Dahl children’s tale. The 10-part series is raising money for Partners In Health, a global health organization working to help families affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with the Roald Dahl Story Company and their partners matching every dollar donated during the campaign. For information on how to participate, click here.

The first episode features Waititi, Thor: Ragnarok star Chris Hemsworth, his brother and The Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth, and Big Mouth creator Nick Kroll. You can watch it below.

But wait, there’s more! The second episode is already up, and that one features Doctor Strange’s Benedict Cumberbatch and freaking Meryl Streep. How, Taika? How do you do it? Tell me your secrets.

Future episodes are set to include Utkarsh Ambudkar, Cate Blanchett, Jamie Cullum, Roman Griffin Davis, Cara Delevingne, Cynthia Erivo, Beanie Feldstein, Josh Gad, Mindy Kaling, Kumail Nanjiani, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Billy Porter, Gordon Ramsay, Eddie Redmayne, Ryan Reynolds, Ben Schwartz, Meryl Streep, Tessa Thompson, Olivia Wilde, Ruth Wilson, and Archie Yates—with even more who’ve yet to be announced. You can check out this teaser trailer for more information on what’s to come.

New episodes of the 10-part series will come out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. No word yet whether we can expect Waititi to continue the series with other Roald Dahl books, but we’d love to see it! In the meantime, Waititi is also working on two new shows for Netflix set in the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, including an original story about the Oompa-Loompas. And don’t forget: He’s doing a Star Wars too.

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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.



I fell like he should do this with The Twits as well for more of a humorous older thing.