Harry Potter and Gravity producer David Heyman will foster an all-new version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at Warner Bros.
First reported by Variety, it’s understood Warner has acquired rights to the property from the Roald Dahl estate, recruiting The Secret Life Of Pets scribe Simon Rich to hash out a screenplay. Rather than setting out to create another big-screen rendition of Dahl’s cherished story, WB has reportedly mapped out preliminary plans for a standalone story, one which circles back to focus on the early adventures of Wonka himself. There’s even chatter that this could spawn a franchise of films, allowing characters like Charlie to enter the fray further down the line, though Variety’s report does stress that it isn’t an origin story.
Portrayed by the late, great Gene Wilder in ’71 before Johnny Depp headlined Tim Burton’s divisive reimagining three decades later, there’s no mention of who could be playing Willy Wonka this time round. In light of Wilder’s tragic passing earlier this year, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Warner Bros. is out for a cash grab. Perhaps that really is the case, but by recruiting David Heyman and fellow producer Michael Siegel, at the very least this new take on Dahl’s character is in safe hands.
Willy Wonka is officially a-go at Warner, but what are your early impressions? David Heyman, meanwhile, has a stacked schedule to look forward to beyond 2016. After holding an instrumental role on the Harry Potter franchise, Heyman was heavily involved November’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and will, in all likelihood, have a part to play in the sequels – all four of them.