Producer confirms new Willy Wonka movie will be a prequel

Producer David Heyman is hopeful Paddington filmmaker Paul King will be able to helm the new Willy Wonka movie.

Producer David Heyman has confirmed the new Willy Wonka movie will be a prequel.

In February (18), it was reported that Paddington filmmaker Paul King was in talks with executives at Warner Bros. to make another film inspired by Roald Dahl's 1964 children's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

While writer Simon Rich's storyline for the project remains under wraps, Heyman has now divulged that the film will be a prequel, rather than a follow-up tale, about the eccentric chocolatier.

"We are still trying to figure out how to tell that story, what the story is. It's a prequel, it's not a sequel," he told Collider.com. "What makes Willy when we find him at the chocolate factory doing the golden ticket, where is he before that? What leads him to that place where he's locked himself away? It's how does he get there? So, we're playing around with that."

In the original 1971 Mel Stuart-directed film, in which Wonka was played by Gene Wilder, the character's origin story wasn't explored.

And in the 2005 Tim Burton version, which featured Johnny Depp, flashbacks revealed that Wonka's father, a prominent dentist named Wilbur, who was portrayed by Christopher Lee, strictly forbade him from consuming candy due to the potential risk to his teeth - leading him to later launch his own chocolate factory.

Heyman went on to explain he is hopeful that King will be able to helm the movie, though the director is currently in the pre-production phases of Disney's live-action Pinocchio adaptation, meaning he will be busy for at least the next 18 months.

The British producer, who worked on both Paddington movies and the Harry Potter film franchise, is currently promoting Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which stars Eddie Redmayne, Depp and Katherine Waterston, and is due for release on 16 November.

There is still no word on who might be cast as Wonka in the new film, with Ryan Gosling, Ezra Miller, Donald Glover reportedly all in the running to play the iconic character.

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