Warner Brothers is currently developing Willy Wonka, a new adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
To help bring the new adaptation to life, Warner Bros. is now in final negotiations with Paul King to direct the feature. King is best known for making Paddington and the recently releasedPaddington 2. King also directed episodes of The Mighty Boosh and Come Fly with Me, as well as the 2009 film Bunny and the Bull.
The screenplay for this new take on Dahl’s was penned by Simon Rich, whose previous credits include Saturday Night Live, Pixar’s Inside Out, Man Seeking Woman, and The Simpsons.
Willy Wonka, if that’s what it’s officially titled, won’t be the first time the book has been turned into a movie, of course. The first and best-known adaptation came in the 1971 classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory, which starred the late great Gene Wilder in the title role. Then is 2005 Tim Burton directed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which starred Johnny Depp as Wonka.
So the biggest question will naturally be: who plays Willy Wonka in this next take on the story? Considering that both Dahl and King hailed and hail from the UK, I’d be surprised if we didn’t see a British star take on the role this time around. And obviously there’s a ton of great options if they do go that route. Personally, I’d love to see someone like Simon Pegg or Andy Serkis get the job. But when you think about all of the great actors out there, they could go in any number of directions and land someone who will do something fantastic with the character.
Warner Bros. is hoping to kick off a new franchise with with the movie. They’ve also been developing another new adaptation of a Dahl story, The Witches, which has a screenplay written by The Shape of Water writer and director Guillermo del Toro.