Everyone loved the late Gene Wilder’s classic big screen interpretation of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka in the 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and the 2005 Tim Burton adaptation, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp as Wonka, probably has a couple of fans too (stranger things have happened). But if you’re one of the surely many fans who feel that what Roald Dahl’s children’s classic book really needs is a standalone story focused around Wonka’s early adventures, you might just be in luck!
Warner Bros. have recently reacquired the rights to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from the Dahl estate, having already distributed the 2005 film adaptation, and Variety report that Warner will re-team with David Heyman, the producer of Harry Potter, to create the project. Simon Rich (writer for Saturday Night Live) will be penning the screenplay, who has experience writing additional story elements for Inside Out and characters for The Secret Life of Pets. Fans who are craving the X-Men Origins: Wolverine of the Dahl-verse (R-Dahl Origins: Wonkarine?) will unfortunately be disappointed, as the studio say while the film will focus solely on Wonka in his early adventures, it’s not really an origin story. One does wonder how much material there really is for an early-days Wonka film; maybe a film of him liberating Oompa Loompas like The Birth of a Nation, or a Social Network like look at how he created his empire. The ideas are truly infinite. Or maybe this is just a pretty dumb idea.