No, that is not a typo in the title. David Heyman, the producer behind the both financially and critically successful Harry Potter series, is set to produce a new Willy Wonka film for Warner Bros., who just acquired the rights to the character from the Roald Dahl Estate, Variety reports.
This film will not be yet another adaptation of the classic book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, however. Nor will it be an adaptations of that book’s sequel, Charlie and the Glass Elevator. Instead, it sounds like this may very well be in the vein of Disney’s recent Oz, The Great and Powerful, which chronicled a time before Dorothy’s appearing in Oz. According to the outlet, the film will be a standalone focusing on Wonka’s early adventures. Considering author Roald Dahl wrote no such tales in his books, it’s up in the air what kind of adventures those can be.
It’s an interesting idea, and one with a lot of potential, but as of this writing, I can already hear the cries from inside of my screen.
To many film fans, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was one of those seminal pieces of works that stuck with you all the way through childhood. Gene Wilder’s portrayal of the eccentric Willy Wonka was unparalleled — even by the more recent interpretation of the character from master thespian Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
There was something in Gene Wilder’s portrayal that’s stood the test of time. With that in mind, I’m expecting nothing but vehement outcries from fans regarding this news.
While I understand where you’re all coming from — I love the original film just as much as the next guy — I think we should all take a step back and chill out. Just because Hollywood is revisiting a character you loved does not mean Gene Wilder’s version of Willy Wonka will spontaneously combust and disappear from the face of existence. This is a character with lots of room for growth, and a character that belonged to a book series long before it ever appeared on the big screen, and I think we should see it as such.
Now, could this be terrible? Absolutely, it has all the makings for a potential cash grab. In the right hands, however, it could be something incredibly special. David Heyman is someone who has produced countless great films (not to mention one of the most profitable film franchises of all time), and has the eye and talent to do the same with this, even if it’s seen as an untouchable character in the eyes of many fans.
What do you think? Is the idea for a Willy Wonka film a good or bad one? Let us know your thoughts down below!
Don't forget to share this post on your Facebook wall and with your Twitter followers! Just hit the buttons on the top of this page.