It has been reported that a Willy Wonka prequel may be in the works and from what’s being discussed, it appears that the main star of the film could potentially be a female.
Bosses at Warner Bros. are in talks to cast a female actress to play the iconic role of Willy Wonka, the brilliantly bonkers chocolatier. The previous two stars to play the role were Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp.
A production team is being put together now that Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to the character from the Dahl estate in 2016.
According to rumours, Paddington director Paul King has signed a deal to direct the film, which is being produced by Harry Potter’s David Heyman, with the script being penned by Simon Rich.
The film is expected to be set before Willy Wonka has his chocolate factory, and may explore how he met the Oompa Loompas or how he found his fortunes.
Producer David Heyman has insisted the film will not be a straight remake, he told Slash Film: “They’ve [already] done two films, quite different. But it’s possibly an origin story.”
A source informed The Sun: “A female lead is being considered.”
The source added: “Film bosses realise it could spark a backlash but believe a female Wonka is a great way to give the classic story a fresh look.”
The first star to play Willy Wonka was Gene Wilder, opposite child actor Peter Ostrum in the 1971 musical, which featured the now-iconic song ‘Pure Imagination’.
The film is based off Roald Dahl’s book that was published in 1964. Based on numerous reports, Dahl was left feeling “infuriated” by the adaption as drastic changes were made.
The book tells the story of a poor little boy named Charlie Bucket, who lives with his parents and four grandparents. For once, luck strikes Charlie and he wins a Golden Ticket inside a Wonka chocolate bar that means he will have the chance to visit the famous chocolate factory owned by the mysterious Mr Wonka.
In the 2005 version, Johnny Depp took a spin on the character and did a much more eccentric characterisation. The film was directed by the quirky gothic filmmaker Tim Burton, who stuck closely to the book’s narrative.
This adaption created further depth to the character of Wonka, as it explored his childhood with his strict, dispassionate father who happens to be a dentist who detests chocolate.
Although the 2005 version had a poor reception from critics due to its “creepiness”, both the adaption and the original have remained popular amongst audiences.
In 2013, the book was also adapted into a stage musical for the West End, that eventually moved to Broadway in 2017.
Previously, it has been reported that Brad Pitt, 56, has been considered for the role as it was his production company that made the adaption.
If the female lead fails to materialise, it has been rumoured that La La Land’s Ryan Gosling or Justice League Ezra Miller could be up for the role.
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