As much as we all want this COVID-19 quarantine to end, there are some pretty dope creative projects to come out of it. First, we got to watch Daniel Radcliffe reading Harry Potter to us all at home, and now Meryl Streep, Chris and Liam Hemsworth, Ryan Reynolds, and more are following suit with a virtual reading of Roald Dahl‘s James and the Giant Peach.
Thanks to The Roald Dahl Story Co., we get to watch a retelling of the classic kids’ book with readings from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, The Mandalorian, Jojo Rabbit) and all of his celebrity friends across 10 episodes on the Roald Dahl YouTube channel. The first two episodes are available now — the first featuring Chris Hemsworth and Liam Hemsworth performing together alongside Nick Kroll, and the second starring Meryl Streep and Benedict Cumberbatch as they read portions of the book from their homes.
More of Waititi’s friends will appear in the remaining episodes, including Ryan Reynolds, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong’o, Eddie Redmayne, Sarah Paulson, Billy Porter, Jamie Cullum, Kumail Nanjiani, Cara Delevingne, Ben Schwartz, Olivia Wilde, Josh Gad, Mindy Kaling, Beanie Feldstein, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Roman Griffin Davis, Cynthia Erivo, Tessa Thompson, Gordon Ramsay, Ruth Wilson, and Archie Yates.
The project aims to raise money for Partners in Health, a medical and social justice organization fighting COVID-19 and supporting public health systems. The Roald Dahl Story Co. has committed to matching $1 million of donations, with other donors lined up for matching beyond this milestone. People can donate to Partners In Health by visiting pih.org/giantpeach.
Waititi was recently announced as the writer, director, and executive producer of two original Roald Dahl animated series for Netflix: an original series based on the world and characters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and an original show centered on the Oompa-Loompas.
The first two episodes of James and the Giant Peach, with Taika and Friends are available now. Fans can watch new episodes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday starting at 1 p.m. EDT.