It’s going on three weeks since we brought you the news Warner Bros. has drafted up early plans for a new version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and even with Potter stalwart David Heyman on board, opinion is still split.
On the one hand, there are those who have already written off the project as a knee-jerk cash-in, while some consider the decision to usher Willy Wonka back onto the big screen to be a timely way of celebrating Gene Wilder’s memory. Whatever side of the fence you find yourself on, Warner has fully committed to a new movie based on Roald Dahl’s cherished character, and during a recent chat with /Film, producer Heyman clarified that the studio is aligning the project as a Willy Wonka origin story, rather than a tit-for-tat remake.
It’s not a remake. They’ve done two films, quite different. But it’s possibly an origin story. We’re just in the early stages of it, working with a writer called Simon Rich, which is wonderful. I’m a huge Roald Dahl fan. I’ve been trying to work on Dahl material for quite some time but they’re all tied up. So when this was suggested, I didn’t take a moment to pause and want to jump right in.
Simon Rich, the scribe behind Man Seeking Woman, will handle the screenplay, though Heyman went on to reveal that this particular version of Willy Wonka is expected to craft its own story independent of Dahl’s novels.
It’s challenging because you don’t have Dahl, you don’t have a Dahl book, and yet you have a Dahl character. But I think there’s a lot in his character that suggests who he is and also where he might come from or what his childhood or his middle age might have been like. So we’re exploring that. We’re discussing it. We’re in the very early stages and very excited about what lies ahead.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is still in the very early stages of development at Warner, but make no mistake, a new movie is on the way.