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'Willy Wonka' prequel in the works at Warner Bros.

By Christian Imperio Published Jan 20, 2021 2:27 am Updated Jan 20, 2021 2:36 am

Willy Wonka's origin movie is reportedly in development at Warner Bros.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory prequel titled Wonka will feature the early days of the eccentric chocolate maker "and his adventures prior to the opening of the world's most famous chocolate factory." The studio is reportedly aiming to release the film on March 17, 2023.

Based on the 1964 novel by Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka eventually gained a cult following after Paramount released Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in 1971 with Gene Wilder in the titular role. After several decades, Warner Bros. came out with a Tim Burton remake featuring Johnny Depp as the quirky candy factory owner.

Other details about the upcoming project are being kept under wraps. It's still unknown whether Wonka will be a prequel to the original 1971 film or Burton's 2005 reboot. There's also no word yet about the cast and whether the iconic Oompa-Loompas will make a comeback in the upcoming movie. However, Collider, according to its sources, has reported that Warner Bros. is eyeing either Tom Holland or Timothée Chalamet to play the younger version of Wonka.

"While it's unclear whether Holland or Chalamet are actively pursuing this part, it's easy to see Chalamet as a younger version of Johnny Depp's take on Wonka, whereas Holland is more of a song-and-dance man in the vein of a young Gene Wilder," it said.

Meanwhile, Harry Potter and Paddington producer David Heyman is reportedly attached to the film with Paul King set to helm the upcoming project.

Apart from the prequel movie, Netflix is also developing two animated series based on Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Academy Award-winning director Taika Waititi set to write, direct, and executive produce the projects.

Netflix previously said that the first animated series will be based on the world and characters created by Dahl while the second is a wholly original take on the Oompa-Loompas, who will star in their own event series.

(Image from IMDB)