Willy Wonka Might Be a Woman in the Anticipated Prequel Movie: Report
Willy Wonka could soon be coming back to theaters in a very different form!
An upcoming planned Willy Wonka prequel movie is considering casting a woman as the famous fictional chocolatier, according to a report from The Sun. The role has previously been portrayed onscreen by Gene Wilder in 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Johnny Depp in 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Both movies were based on Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s novel.)
In 2016, Variety reported that a Willy Wonka reboot was in the works from producer David Heyman, who previously worked on the Harry Potter and Paddington movies.
During an interview with Collider in 2018, Heyman confirmed that the upcoming project would be a prequel, set before the events of Dahl’s book and the two movie adaptions.
PEOPLE is out to Warner Bros., the studio behind the two previous films, for comment.
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“We are still trying to figure out how to tell that story, what the story is,” Heyman, 58, said at the time. “It’s a prequel, it’s not a sequel. 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.”
Collider also reported that Donald Glover and Ryan Gosling had previously been rumored to be in contention for the role of Willy Wonka in the upcoming movie.
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Wilder’s 1971 portrayal of Willy Wonka left the character’s backstory ambiguous, while the 2005 movie starring Depp added in flashbacks to Willy Wonka’s mean dentist father.
“It’s challenging because you don’t have Dahl, you don’t have a Dahl book, and yet you have a Dahl character,” Heyman told Slash Film in 2016. “But I think there’s a lot in his character that suggests who he is and also where he might come from or what his childhood or his middle age might have been like. So we’re exploring that. We’re discussing it. We’re in the very early stages and very excited about what lies ahead.”