Fans of the late, great Gene Wilder have balked at the news that there’s a new Willy Wonka movie in the pipeline.
News has emerged that David Heyman, producer of the ‘Harry Potter’ movies, has joined with Warner Bros to bring a new version of Roald Dahl’s eccentric confectionary magnate to the big screen.
According to reports from Variety, ‘the film will not be an origin tale, but a standalone movie focused on Wonka and his early adventures’.
While Dahl wrote two books based around the character of Charlie Bucket – ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator’ – there was never a book devoted solely to Wonka.
Heyman will be making the movie (or possibly *movies* if all goes well) alongside Michael Siegel, who is the manager of the Dahl estate.
But despite such endorsement, the news has gone down like snozzberry wallpaper among a vocal number of WIlder fans.
How do you dishonor the memory of Gene Wilder? Announce a remake that nobody has asked for or wanted. Well done Warner Bros. You idiots. https://t.co/mySg0K6ORA
— Jake George Potts (@ShakeyJake25) October 19, 2016
& honestly out of respect for Gene Wilder, y'all shld leave this franchise alone. let his legacy live on, & stop trying to "replace" him
— bozz. (@haraleili) October 19, 2016
Gene Wilder hasn't been dead long enough for a studio to sully his character with a prequel.
— Michael Lee (@eelyajekim) October 19, 2016
I guess you had to wait until Gene Wilder had a grave before he could spin in it. https://t.co/EvJspQx2Ds
— Dave Elliott (@The_Iceman2288) October 19, 2016
@wbpictures If you have any respect for Gene Wilder, DO NOT do another Willy Wonka movie. Ever.
— Jackie Weiler (@kdogsfighter) October 20, 2016
Willy Wonka is one of the best characters ever created & Gene Wilder is unbeatable in the role. Who can compare? Why even try again! https://t.co/zuqaoFUHZL
— Sarah (@Lilmissfringe) October 20, 2016
Wilder died on August 29 this year, following complications of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Not everyone seemed beside themselves about the idea, however:
HOLY CRAP A NEW WILLY WONKA'S MOVIE, YEESSSS PLEASE
— Miranda???? (@sherrinforrrrd) October 20, 2016
On the one hand, the words “Willy Wonka franchise” sound appalling.
On the other, if it means FINALLY MAKING A MOVIE OF GREAT GLASS ELEVATOR
— Seb Patrickortreat (@sebpatrick) October 20, 2016
As well as the original Wilder version, ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ from 1971, Tim Burton re-imagined the story in 2005, with Johnny Depp as the chocolatier.
As of 2013, the story has also been playing in the West End, and will shift to Broadway in April next year.