‘Willy Wonka’ New Film in the Works From David Heyman and Warner Bros. (EXCLUSIVE)

Willy Wonka new movie
Courtesy of Paramount

After helping build the “Harry Potter” franchise and rebooting it with “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” producer David Heyman and Warner Bros. are re-teaming to revive another classic character.

Sources tell Variety that Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to the “Willy Wonka” IP from the Roald Dahl Estate and is planning a new movie centered around the eccentric character.

Heyman will produce with Michael Siegel, who is the manager of the Dahl Estate. Kevin McCormick is exec producing. “The Secret Life of Pets” scribe Simon Rich is penning the script. Courtenay Valenti and Jon Gonda are overseeing the project for the studio.

Sources reveal that the film will not be an origin tale, but a standalone movie focused on Wonka and his early adventures. It’s unknown who from the original book series, other than Wonka, will be involved in the project. If the reboot is a hit, it seems likely that characters like Charlie could be seen in future installments of a possible franchise.

The studio has been trying to lock down rights from the Dahl Estate since the beginning of the year and finally closed a deal earlier this fall. Dahl penned two books in which Wonka appeared — the 1964 novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the 1972 book “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator” — but never wrote anything focused specifically on the Wonka character.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” has since been adapted into two feature films, most recently by Warner Bros. in 2005 with Tim Burton directing and Johnny Depp starring as Wonka. The original Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder, died on Aug. 29.

Warner Bros.’ musical adaptation of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” playing on the West End since 2013, will open on Broadway in April.

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  1. The Chocolate Factory is possibly the most creepy, Stephen King-ish, nightmare inspiring horror ever inflicted upon a child. Maybe even more so than traditional fairy tales. I would rather fence with Pennywise before tangling with the evil Willy Wonka any day of the week. How Tim Burton managed to not properly demonize the story I will never know, Story creeps the living f**k out of me.

  2. Sydney White says:

    I’m not holding out any hope that it’ll be good or worthwhile…that way, maybe I can be a bit pleasantly surprised. I adore Gene Wilder, although tbh, Willy Wonka was never one of my *favorite* films of his. Of course, I like it ten times more than the Johnny Depp version (which is possibly Johnny’s weakest movie? I adore him as well…)

  3. EricJ says:

    So, Warner hopes they have another house-franchise Early-untold-prequel story universe before–let’s emphasize that, BEFORE–Fantastic Beasts opens in theaters.
    And the more that Warner spends money they haven’t made yet, the more I am convinced that Fantastic Beasts is not going to end well. I’m just seeing something is going to shut down the chemical factory.

    (And if they so much as touch any of Tim Burton’s “Daddy was a dentist” canon pretending it to be “real”, they might as well pack up now before they start filming.)

  4. IT--II--IT says:

    DAHL has already had his cover blown. He’s INTEL.

    And Hollywood and media is now –literally– an arm of the globalist mafia CIA.

    Everyone an agent –SCAB.

    And ALLL the controllers do is scoop up rehashes of their same-same mind control projects.

    – – – BULLLLLLEH- – —

    WHO asked for IT ?

    WHO needs IT ?

  5. WallyWonka says:

    Nice

  6. Lee says:

    Lin-Manuel Miranda is playing Wonka though right?

  7. lou says:

    Hate this new trend of rebooting films after the star passes away. It’s in poor taste and disrespectful.

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  8. Lara Q says:

    Absolutely pointless.

  9. On one hand the original deserves to stand alone as a classic. It was brilliant thanks to Gene Wilder’s performance as Wonka.

    On the other hand, Tim Burton’s version left a sour taste in my mouth and perhaps a reboot is just the palate cleanser needed to get the foul taste of Burton’s version of the film out of my head.

  10. Damon Tammas says:

    After all of the failed reboots and regurgitants this year, why does Hollywood still do this ?

    • khakigothic says:

      Unfortunately, because people keep going to see them. Hollywood runs off money – not politics, not fame, money. If everyone stopped going to these crap films, they’d stop making them. I hate reboots, I don’t ever see them – but clearly enough people are going to make Hollywood think it’s worth investing in.

  11. WHY IN GODS NAME. Who seriously thinks this is a good idea? This is a fucking terrible move. NO. Just no.

  12. middleditchfan420 says:

    CAST THOMAS MIDDLEDITCH IF YOU HAVE ANY SENSE AT ALLLLLLLL

  13. gabe says:

    did gene wilder know?

  14. ChynnaBlue says:

    This is so unnecessary. The original is so great. I love Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, but I did not like the last movie. Gene Wilder is the only Willy Wonka I need.

    • Kellie says:

      It’s not a remake. Did you read the article? I do agree that there is no way to remake the magic that is Gene Wilder. But this does sound interesting.

  15. Raphael Howard says:

    I think that this idea was on the Black List (best unproduced scripts in Hollywood) a while back. Hopefully, it will get into production, and the project can be judged on its own merits…

  16. Bertram van Munster says:

    Really …….why….

  17. Alex Meyer says:

    Interesting.

  18. LINDA KOPPERUD says:

    There will never be a Willy Wonka movie like the first movie done by David Wolper. You can’t mess with perfection.

  19. LOL says:

    I have a B.A. (Hons) degree in Film. Why’d I bother.

  20. This thought came to my mind: big willy and small willy. All know what a willy is.

  21. adam says:

    The Hollywood machine is really desperate these days. I guess the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp abomination wasn’t enough.

  22. Jenna says:

    Blame 2017’s Beauty & the Beast for this, if they’re making it a musical that is. Ever since that adaptation was announced as a musical the fad has been to attempt to remake a famous musical. Lion King, Oliver! just to name a few.

  23. Jen Gossel says:

    aww man come on just leave the movie alone! :(

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