Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been adapted twice for the big screen — once in 1971 and again in 2005 — but studios are always hungry for new movies with existing name recognition, so it seems the character of Willy Wonka is destined to appear onscreen once again. This time, the actor taking on the memorable candymaker could be none other than Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Gosling.
There is a catch, though — this latest big screen version of Willy Wonka will actually be a prequel to the original story, showing us the character’s early adventures.
One possibility could be the tale of how Wonka came to find the famous Oompa Loompas who work in his factory, though that was explored in further detail in the most recent film.
Gene Wilder played the iconic role in the original 1971 version, titled Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (a change that Dahl himself loathed).
In fact, Dahl hated pretty much everything about that adaptation of his 1964 book, even though he wrote the original draft of the screenplay himself.
Dahl felt that the finished film placed too much emphasis on Wonka rather than Charlie and hated the changes and additions to his original story — as well as the casting of Wilder himself.
Had he lived long enough to see it (Dahl passed away in 1990), he likely would’ve liked Tim Burton’s 2005 version even less.
Johnny Depp took over the role of Willy Wonka in an adaptation that made significant changes from the original novel, including a backstory involving Wonka’s father (Christopher Lee).
Harry Potter producer David Heyman is behind the latest Willy Wonka movie, with a script being penned by The Secret Life of Pets‘ Simon Rich.
At this point, Gosling’s involvement is just a rumor, but the actor is said to be interested. If the film is a success, Warner Bros. would likely try to turn the film into a franchise, with a new version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory becoming a possibility.