The new 'Willy Wonka' movie will be a prequel

Ben Arnold
Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (Credit: Paramount)

Plans for a new Willy Wonka movie are moving ahead, with news emerging that it will not be a remake (or a sequel), but a prequel.

Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Paddington producer David Heyman is behind the project, with Paddington director Paul King in talks to helm it.

Speaking to Collider, Heyman said that the movie is still in the planning stages, but confirmed that it would tell the story prior to that seen in Wonka’s chocolate factory.

“We are still trying to figure out how to tell that story, what the story is,” he said.

David Heyman (Credit: Heyday Films)

“It’s a prequel, it’s not a sequel. 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.”

When the movie might be made is another matter.

King, who also directed Paddington 2 and much of the surreal BBC comedy The Mighty Boosh, is signed up to direct Disney’s live-action movie of Pinocchio, which is set to start filming next year.

Depp as Wonka (Credit: Warner Bros)

The original Mel Stuart-directed movie, based on Roald Dahl’s book, remains a cinematic classic, with Gene Wilder having memorably taken on the role of the eccentric confectioner.

Then Tim Burton remade the movie with his own vision in 2005, with Johnny Depp playing Wonka, and touching upon the characters origins, depicting him as the estranged son of a stern dentist, played by Christopher Lee.

Those who have been discussed playing Wonka in a new version have included Ryan Gosling and Donald Glover.

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