Donald Glover and Ryan Gosling on shortlist to play the new Willy Wonka

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Donald Glover (Credit: Jordan Strauss/AP)

Solo star Donald Glover and Ryan Gosling are said to be among those leading the shortlist to play the new Willy Wonka.

Fantastic Beasts and Justice League actor Ezra Miller is also said to be in the running.

This new iteration of Roald Dahl’s eccentric chocolatier is coming via Warner Bros from David Heyman, the producer of the Harry Potter movies, and recently, the Paddington films (oh, and Fantastic Beasts too).

Ryan Gosling (Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

He’s recruited Paddington and Paddington 2 helmsman Paul King to direct, with the rumoured plan to make it an origin story, though little else is known about the direction of the project just yet.

According to Collider, who got the scoop, Glover is the one who is actively pursuing the role.

Landing him for the project would be a coup, considering his current meteoric rise to fame, from Community via his own show Atlanta to his scene-stealing role as Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

He’s also set to voice Simba in the forthcoming live-action remake of The Lion King for director Jon Favreau, and that’s all without the notoriety of his hip-hop alter-ego Childish Gambino.

There are big shoes to fill to play Wonka, however, with many seeing the benchmark performance being that of Gene Wilder’s in the iconic 1971 musical by Mel Stuart.

Back then, Fred Astaire, Ron Moody, Jon Pertwee, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin almost got the role, with Peter Sellers reportedly having begged for it.

Johnny Depp also channeled Vogue editor Anna Wintour to play Wonka for Tim Burton in 2005.

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