On paper, the idea of a Willy Wonka prequel is about as creatively bankrupt as it gets, but Warner Bros. will be looking to launch one last franchise out of the beloved Roald Dahl character before the writer’s entire back catalogue migrates to Netflix, after the streamer picked it up in a huge deal the other week.
Timothee Chalamet won the lead role at the expense of Tom Holland, getting a measure of revenge after he made it to the final six candidates to play the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man before losing out, even though it was made clear from the internet’s response that nobody’s particularly interested in seeing how the future chocolatier got his foot in the industry door.
One reason to be quietly optimistic is the presence of Paddington director Paul King, who helmed two of the most acclaimed family films of the modern era, and it can’t be ignored that Chalamet is one of the finest young talents in the business. As per Deadline, Wonka has just added even more gravitas to the ensemble following the additions of Academy Award winner Olivia Colman, two-time Academy Award nominee Sally Hawkins and British comedy legend Rowan Atkinson.
Production is expected to begin shortly with a March 2023 release date already locked in, and while there’s really no reason for Wonka to exist at all, we should reserve judgement until we see what King, his cast and crew have got in store, based on their respective and highly impressive track records.