Warner Bros announced the news yesterday (19 January) , with speculation already rife as to who will portray the eccentric chocolatier.
Watch: 'Wonka' prequel set for 2023 release
Tom Holland and Timothée Chalamet have been floated as two of the likely contenders for the role, which was famously inhabited by Gene Wilder in the 1971 adaptation Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Reaction to the film’s premise has been mixed, however, with many social media users calling it “unnecessary” and bemoaning the ubiquity of prequels and origin stories in contemporary Hollywood cinema.
“Yes, Gene Wilder was perfect,” wrote writer Zack Davisson. "But I think the bigger discussion is that the more you explain Willy Wonka, the less interesting he becomes as a character.
I remember loving Willy Wonka as a kid, but longing for an entire additional movie that explains how he acquired the building, permits, and business license to start a candy manufacturing plant. https://t.co/MDYHeM3ZXB
— Steve Zaragoza (@stevezaragoza) January 19, 2021
Me whenever a movie studio announces an “origin” movie (like Warner Bros. just did for Willy Wonka) pic.twitter.com/iG8hs0dsvd
— Ryan W. Mead (@rwmead) January 19, 2021
the only willy wonka prequel i want to see is those two sets of grandparents deciding to buy one big bed
— Ben Rosen (@ben_rosen) January 20, 2021
“Willy Wonka should have no prequel, no explanation, no motivation. He is an absolute mystery, which lends him power.”
Comedian Steve Zaragoza joked: “I remember loving Willy Wonka as a kid, but longing for an entire additional movie that explains how he acquired the building, permits, and business license to start a candy manufacturing plant.”
Writer and podcaster Gavia Baker-Whitelaw wrote: “There's an old piece of writing advice that a good story should take place at the most important/exciting moment in a character's life. Backstory prequels like ~Young Wonka~ are the opposite of this, and that's why they suck.”
i have one request...... when you bring me out..... can you introduce me as 'wonka' https://t.co/mT3k3IKpHd
— Stan Account (@tristandross) January 19, 2021
[“Sweet Home Alabama” plays over footage of a military helicopter flying over Vietnam]
Soldier: ... and what are you gonna do when you get back home, Wonka?
Private Willy Wonka: I’m going to open a chocolate factory
Helicopter pilot (screaming): INCOMING! https://t.co/oiOiVzk4SW
— pixelatedboat aka “mr tweets” (@pixelatedboat) January 19, 2021
Further details about the film are expected to arrive in the coming months.
Watch: Tom Holland 'is among the contenders to play Willy Wonka'