We knew a few years back that a new Willy Wonka movie was being developed. It was rumored to maybe be a prequel but now Collider has confirmed that fact.
They talked to producer David Heyman on the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald press tour, and he laid out where we would find Wonka in the movie:
“We are still trying to figure out how to tell that story, what the story is. It’s a prequel, it’s not a sequel,” Heyman revealed. “What makes Willy—when we find him at the chocolate factory doing the golden ticket, where is he before that? What leads him to that place where he’s locked himself away? It’s how does he get there? So we’re playing around with that.”
Heyman mentioned wanting Paul King, who directed the Paddington movies, to direct this, but that isn’t locked in yet.
According to an old report, Warner Bros has a short list for Wonka, including Donald Glover, Ryan Gosling, and Ezra Miller.
Out of the three, I can see Donald Glover pulling it off the best, but if I were casting the movie, my top two choices would be Doctor Who and Episode IX‘s Matt Smith, or Saturday Night Live cast member Kate McKinnon. Both would do an amazing job. They have that crazy manic energy, yet that soft spoken sweetness that Gene Wilder had. I assume that is the performance they are basing this off of, but would want an actor’s own take, not an impression. Smith and McKinnon could pull that off that balance.
I am not the person to write about whether we “need” this movie or not. Every movie is someone’s first movie. Every movie is someone’s favorite movie. Every movie is the movie that inspires someone to make their own art. (Besides the PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2 of course….) So even if this new Willy Wonka movie doesn’t land (with the talent involved, it could very well be delightful), what will come from it could change the world. So I welcome it.