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The New Willy Wonka Prequel Movie Might Be an Origin Story

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

We were all so busy scrambling to avert one apocalypse today, we didn’t even see another one rearing its head in the distance. SlashFilm recently spoke to power-producer David Heyman at the junket for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and questioned the Hollywood player about the plans for Warner Bros.’ impending Willy Wonka film. Without making any concrete announcements about what to expect from the early-in-development project, Heyman did drop one rather ominous prophecy when asked whether the script would be a remake of the popular Gene Wilder-starring film or the Tim Burton-directed version:

It’s not a remake. They’ve done two films, quite different. But it’s possibly an origin story. We’re just in the early stages of it, working with a writer called Simon Rich, which is wonderful.

If the notion of a film explicitly detailing how Willy got so Wonka makes you want to shut your laptop and go outside, take a bit of solace in the assurance that at least all the parties involved have the best of intentions. At least Heyman’s a devotee of Roald Dahl, author of the novel that originated the Willy Wonka character:

I’m a huge Roald Dahl fan. I’ve been trying to work on Dahl material for quite some time but they’re all tied up. So when this was suggested, I didn’t take a moment to pause and want to jump right in.

Simon Rich’s involvement is also cause for optimism; as the mind behind the insatiably imaginative sci-fi/rom-com Man Seeking Woman, he could be well-suited to the task of animating the Wonka character with manic life. But no matter who’s telling the story, making a not-bad Willy Wonka origin story will be an uphill battle.

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