Book Vs Movie “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” (2016) Taika Waititi & Sam Neill

Book Vs. Movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Barry Crump’s 1986 Novella Vs the Taika Waititi 2016 Film

The Margos search for their inner Kiwi in this examination of one of the most creators from New Zealand–writer Barry Crump and filmmaker Taika Waititi. The 2016 film Hunt for the Wilderpeople is an adaptation by Waititi of Crump’s novella Wild Pork and Watercress and would go on to be one of the most successful films from New Zealand. 

The story centers on the relationship between a “juvenile delinquent” Ricky Baker (played by Julian Dennison) who is on the run from child protective services along with his cantankerous uncle Hector Faulkner (Sam Neill) in the bush. Together they learn to live off the land, trust each other, and form a family 

Much of what takes place in the novella is in the 2016 movie that uses gorgeous locations in the New Zealand bush plus amazing performances by an array of local actors including Rachel House as child welfare worker Paula Hall and the director himself as a minister. It opened at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and is the highest film in New Zealand with $12million at the box office. The population there is almost 5 million to give you an idea of how much the country supported this film. 

Crump (1935-1995) was a legend in New Zealand as a writer, hunter, ad pitchman, and was basically “Crocodile Dundee” before Paul Hogan took over the persona. He and his sidekick Scotty (Lloyd Scott) sold Toyota trucks for over 15 years while he spent a writing career starting in the 1960s talking about the bush country and the people and animals who lived there. 

Taika Waititi is one of the country’s most famous exports as a comedian, director, producer, actor, and screenwriter. Some of his most famous works include What We Do in the Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok, and Jojo Rabbitt. You can tell this is a work of love and we are so excited to talk about it all in this episode!  

So, between the original story and the 2016 adaptation–which did we prefer? 

In this ep the Margos discuss:

Clips used:

  • Ricky Baker birthday song
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople trailer
  • Ricky badly explains his circumstances
  • Ricky meets Haku
  • Ricky and Hec being chased by Paula and Andy
  • Music by Moniker 

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