Taika Waititi joined by Hollywood stars to read Roald Dahl classic in fight against Covid-19

A classic children's story is being brought to life in a new way with the help of Academy Award-winning Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi and some Hollywood celebrity power.

The Roald Dahl Story Company has teamed up with Waititi and a host of celebrities to retell the children's classic story: James And The Giant Peach, by beloved children's author Dahl.

Celebrities including Ryan Reynolds, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong'o, Liam Hemsworth, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling and Cara Delevingne will all lend their voices to the characters of the novel; which will be retold in full inĀ 10 episodes on YouTube.

The initiative is to help raised funds for those working on the front line in the fight against coronavirus.

Up to $1 million of donations will be matched by The Roald Dahl Story Company and other donors are expected to match donations after that.

Funds raised will go to Partners In Health - a medical and social justice organisation fighting the worldwide pandemic - and supporting public health systems in vulnerable communities around the world.

The first two episodes went live overnight.

Episode One:

Episode Two:

New episodes will be posted every Monday, Wednesday an Friday and those tuning in will get to see participating celebrities reading from their respective homes, while under lockdown.

Waititi said he was excited to partner up with those involved to retell the children's favourite as he was very much an "adult child myself".

"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."

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.