james and the giant peach

Taika Waititi and some very famous friends are getting together (virtually, of course) to read Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. The series hopes to provide “children and families the opportunity to come together and experience the story in new ways, in a time when COVID-19 has left children out of school and families around the world in isolation at home.” The line-up of readers includes Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Chris Hemsworth and Liam Hemsworth, and more.

James and the Giant Peach with Taika and Friends

If you ever wanted to experience some famous people reading James and the Giant Peach, things are finally going your way. James and the Giant Peach, With Taika and Friends features Taika Waititi and a whole bunch of celebs reading from the Dahl book, with hopes of raising money for Partners In Health, “a medical and social justice organization fighting COVID-19, who have been providing long-term support to public health systems in some of the most vulnerable communities around the world for over 30 years. Roald Dahl Story Company has committed to matching $1 million of donations to the organization.”

The first two episodes, featuring Meryl Streep, Benedict Cumberbatch, Nick Kroll, and Chris and Liam Hemsworth reading portions of the book from their homes, are available now. Check them out below.

Episode 1

Episode 2

New episodes will be published every Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Here’s the full lineup of talent involved: Utkarsh Ambudkar, Cate Blanchett, Jamie Cullum, Benedict Cumberbatch, Roman Griffin Davis, Cara Delevingne, Cynthia Erivo, Beanie Feldstein, Josh Gad, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Hemsworth, Mindy Kaling, Nick Kroll, 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.

“Being an adult child myself and having read James and the Giant Peach to my girls multiple times, I’m excited to be able to partner with my friends, the Dahl team and Partners In Health and re-tell this story to help those most in need right now,” Waititi said. “This wacky, wonderful tale is about resilience in children, triumph over adversity, and dealing with a sense of isolation which couldn’t be more relevant today.”

Ophelia Dahl, Roald Dahl’s daughter and Founder of Partners In Health, added:

“My dad instilled in us as kids the notion that imagination will spark a chain reaction of possibilities — we can dream endlessly about ideas and make them real. This early training meant it was not such a leap to envision Partners in Health with my friends. Roald was one of our earliest and most enthusiastic supporters and never let me leave for Haiti without stuffing a massive wad of cash in my hand to put towards the next project.  You can see from his stories that he always supported the most vulnerable and those excluded from opportunity. PIH was the perfect match…We’re so grateful to Taika Waititi and the Roald Dahl Story Company for pulling together this extraordinary initiative and amazing array of talent. It will undoubtedly help in the fight against the long-standing health inequities we see in many parts of the world. Thank you for your generosity.”

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