Warner Bros. has reportedly set its eye on reviving the beloved characters of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. According to THR, Paul King, the director of the glowingly received Paddington and Paddington 2 is in final negotiations to direct Willy Wonka, “a reimagining of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
For King, it would be moving from one classic British children’s book series to another. His take on Paddington has generated universal critical acclaim, and stands as perhaps the overall best-reviewed film of 2017. It seems safe to say that Warner Bros. sees him as exactly the right person to take on another imaginative family classic.
What isn’t known is whether this film would follow the classic “golden tickets”/factory tour storyline first seen in the 1971 classic adaptation with Gene Wilder, and then repeated in the maligned (and heartless) 2005 remake with Johnny Depp. There’s other original Willy Wonka source material out there, including the book’s memorably bonkers sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, which saw Charlie Bucket and Wonka traveling through space, time and dimensions. Perhaps King will dip his toes in those waters, and deliver something more akin to A Wrinkle in Time than we’re expecting?
The script for the new film was written by Simon Rich, while David Heyman of Paddington would produce. There’s also evidence that it may not be the only Dahl adaptation coming down the pipe. According to THR, there’s another adaptation of Dahl’s The Witches out there with a script crafted by Guillermo Del Toro of all people—but we can’t help but remind ourselves of how often GDT projects get set on the back burner.
We’ll update with more information on a new Willy Wonka—especially which actor will be playing the iconic role—when it becomes available.