Warner Bros sets Wonka prequel for 2023 release; Paddington director Paul King to direct
Warner Bros has set a release date for long-standing project Wonka, an origin story focusing on the storied chocolate factory owner.
A prequel to Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, titled Wonka is in the pipeline at Warner Bros. for a while now. But it seems the production house is finally churning its wheels to bring the project to fruition.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, ‘Wonka’ has been scheduled to be released on 17 March, 2023 for now. It will be directed by Paul King, director of the two Paddington films and bankrolled by Harry Potter producer David Heyman. Heyman was also the producer for Paddington and its sequel so he will be reuniting with King for the latest project again.
Wonka will set place before the events of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where Willy Wonka was seen as a massive chocolatier who ran the Chocolate Factory. The Hollywood Reporter says that the studio synopsis reads as the story of "a young Willy Wonka and his adventures prior to opening the world’s most famous chocolate factory."
The script is by Simon Rich, who previously served as the writer for Saturday Night Live. Simon Farnaby has co-written the screenplay.
King has been associated with the project for nearly two years now as he was reported to have been at the last stages of negotiations to helm Wonka back in 2018. While production rolled in slowly, it seems like things are finally picking up pace as Variety reports that Warner Bros. is planning to begin casting for the film soon.
The eccentric owner of a chocolate factory who was featured prominently in Dahl's 1964 book and its follow-up, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, remains to be one of the most popular figures in popular culture. The first live-action adaptation of the character saw actor Gene Wilder portray Wonka, creating a legendary image for the fictional character, in 1971.
Years later, Tim Burton directed a reboot of the film with Johnny Depp breathing life into the ‘weird’ chocolatier in 2005.
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