With Steven Spielberg is confirmed to direct two major films: Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One and Roald Dahl’s The BFG. Fans of both novels have already put together their dream cast. The BFG is slated for a July 2016 release, with Ready Player One set for a December 2017 release. While the former has already got its cast, the latter will eventually get to its casting phase.
But a new rumor going around says that Spielberg may want Gene Wilder to come out of retirement to star in one of the two films. More on this story below.
Now, it’s important to note that this is just a rumor, as AICN states that meetings with the actor have already taken place. Though what film Spielberg wants Wilder to be in is still unknown. But both projects seem enticing, and are in the actor’s wheelhouse.
Let’s take The BFG first. The film is an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s novel of the same name. Dahl also happened to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was then adapted for film but titled Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which also happened to star Gene Wilder as the title character. Production has wrapped for The BFG, but some say there may be room for a voice role.
But the site is betting that Spielberg would want Wilder to be in Ready Player One. USA Today called the book “Enchanting… Willy Wonka meets The Matrix.” So suppose you got the actor to play a Willy Wonka-esque character, in which case that would be James Donovan Halliday – creator of OASIS, a game where those who find his hidden Easter Egg will inherit his entire estate, including management and control of the OASIS itself; a prize worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Sounds a bit familiar, right?
Again, AICN reminds us that this is just a rumor, but they have it sourced, so there is some validity to it. Neither Spielberg nor Wilder have commented on the matter. And there is no telling if Wilder will actually agree to come out of retirement just for a voice role in The BFG or be a central figure in Ready Player One. But let’s just cross our fingers that the director can do it, because it’d be great to see Wilder on the big screen again.
Wilder has spoken in the past about his life and career and why he hasn’t acted in so long, so it will take quite the irresistible script to get him back into acting in one of these movies.
Disney will release The BFG on July 1, 2016. Warner Bros. has set Ready Player One set for a December 15, 2017 release.