Thor director Taika Waititi is to direct Bubbles, an animated film about Michael Jackson’s famous pet chimpanzee.
Bubbles was Jackson’s one-time companion, who very much added to the common perception of the late singer as an eccentric. Jackson bought the chimp in the 1980s, and from then the pair were often photographed travelling and playing together and even shared tea with the mayor of Osaka during the Bad World Tour in Japan. It is thought that Bubbles slept in a crib in Jackson’s bedroom and used his toilet.
The movie will be a stop motion animation and, pegged as a “coming-of-age” story, Bubbles will be told in the vein of Anomalisa, which came from the same production company Starburns Industries and dealt with loneliness and the human condition.
“It’s an idea that fascinates me and one I want to develop further,” said Waititi of Bubbles. “Most people know I’m a huge Michael Jackson fan, so the main thing for me is to make sure it’s respectful of him and his legacy.
“I’m not interested in making a biopic; I want to focus on telling a story that blends fact and fantasy, about an animal trying to make sense of the world.
“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 — it’s about a chimpanzee’s fascinating journey through the complex jungle of human life.”