Producer: New Willy Wonka movie a prequel
Producer David Heyman has confirmed the new Willy Wonka movie will be a prequel.
In February, it was reported that Padding ton film maker Paul King was in talks with executives at Warner Bros. to make another film inspired by Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
While writer Simon Rich’s storyline for the project remains under wraps, Heyman has now divulged that the film will be a prequel, rather than a followup tale, about the eccentric chocolatier.
“We are still trying to figure out how to tell that story, what the story is. It’s a prequel, it’s not a sequel,” he told Collider.com. “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.”
In the original 1971 Mel Stuartdirected film, with Gene Wilder as Wonka, the character’s origin story isn’t explored.
And in the 2005 Tim Burton version, which stars Johnny Depp, flashbacks revealed that Wonka’s father, a prominent dentist named Wilbur, portrayed by Christopher Lee, strictly forbade him from consuming candy due to the potential risk to his teeth — leading him to later launch his own chocolate factory.
Heyman said he hopes King will be able to direct the movie, though the director is currently in preproduction for Disney’s live-action Pinocchio adaptation, meaning he will be busy for at least the next 18 months.