Taika Waititi will no longer direct the stop-motion feature Bubbles, a Michael Jackson biopic told from the point of view of his chimp friend, Bubbles. As a result of Waititi’s departure, Netflix has pulled out of the project, too, which led to a halt on pre-production at Starburns Industries.
Cartoon Brew has learned that A-list director Waititi left the film due to his heavy schedule, including work on the live-action adaptation of Akira. Netflix, which made a deal to acquire the film in 2017 for a reported $20 million, subsequently backed out. We’ve been told that one of the key reasons Netflix wanted to be involved with the production was because of Waititi’s participation, and without him the project no longer made sense for the streamer.
Bubbles was based on a spec script by Isaac Adamson. “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,” Waititi had said back in 2017. “It’s about a chimpanzee’s fascinating journey through the complex jungle of human life.”