Remakes, reboots, soft reboots, semi-sequels, semi-prequels, or soft stools. Call them what you will, but Hollywood will never stop producing them. As long as there was once an audience for a property and the nostalgia can still be tapped, studios will resurrect properties.
Not even the candyman is safe. Seriously. Candyman got a reboot. Now Willy Wonka is too.
Over at Variety, we learned that the Willy Wonka prequel ‘Wonka’ has its lead actor. Timothee Chalamet of 2021’s Dune and Call Me by Your Name has been cast as the conjuror of sweets and the teacher of strict lessons to children.
The 26-year-old actor will be playing a younger version of Willy Wonka, possibly before gaining fame and fortune. The plot details are scarce, but there’s some information that will help us speculate.
The big question is, where will the story sit in the world of Wonka films? Will it be standalone? Will it be set before the Mel Stuart movie or Tim Burton’s? Will the Oompa Loompas be in it, and will they be orange little child-tormenting jerks?
Whether this film will be a new take on the character based more on Roald Dahl’s books than the classic 1971 adaptation is unknown. It will, however, be a musical. So, I’m leaning towards this being a loose prequel. This would allow Warner Bros. to cash in on nostalgia and republish the blu-ray.
On the other hand, trying to recreate a young version of Gene Wilder would be unfair to Chalamet. It’d be unfair to anyone who took the role, honestly. We’ve seen how these things have turned out before … like Solo.
Wonka ’71 is a family favorite, but I would like to see the studio try something new or closer to Dahl’s original works than copying Mel Stuart’s film. Just don’t make WW out to be a creepy Michael Jackson clone like Tim Burton did. Ugh.
Paul King, the director of the two live-action Paddington films, is slated to direct Wonka. Paddington was very charming and inoffensively heartwarming at times. It may not have been my cup of tea as a cynical journo, but I’ll admit that the films do have a Wonka-ish feel to them.
Do you think the origin story of a young Willy Wonka needs to be told? Is the journey of the confection creator an interesting story to tell? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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