Last month came word that a third film based on Roald Dahl’s iconic Willy Wonka character is in the works at Warner Bros. Pictures with “Harry Potter” film series stalwart David Heyman set to produce.
Speaking with Slashfilm at the recent “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” junket, Heyman was asked about the project and revealed a surprise – it seems this won’t be yet another remake of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.
Rather it’s an origin story and for a particular reason. Much like TV’s “Hannibal” couldn’t really work with any of the material from “The Silence of the Lambs” novel due to rights issues, it sounds like Heyman and Warners either can’t or won’t do either of the Wonka books:
“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.
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.
It’s challenging because you don’t have Dahl, you don’t have a Dahl book, and yet you have a Dahl character. But I think there’s a lot in his character that suggests who he is and also where he might come from or what his childhood or his middle age might have been like. So we’re exploring that. We’re discussing it. We’re in the very early stages and very excited about what lies ahead.
Simon Rich, the aforementioned writer, created FXX’s acclaimed offbeat comedy series “Man Seeking Woman”. No production dates for the new ‘Wonka’ have been announced.