Willy Wonka prequel movie from 'Paddington' director confirmed for 2023

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·2-min read
Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Credit: Paramount)
Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Credit: Paramount)

The new Willy Wonka prequel movie has been slated for release in 2023 by the Warner Brothers studio, it's been confirmed.

It's all set for 17 March, 2023, with Paul King, the visionary British director behind the Paddington movies, behind the camera.

David Heyman, who produced the Paddington movies as well as a little known franchise called Harry Potter, will be on board too.

Read more: Paul King won’t return for Paddington 3

Writing the script is Simon Rich, who recently wrote the Seth Rogen comedy An American Pickle, about a man who fell into a pickle jar and wakes up a century later in modern day New York.

David Heyman and Paul King attending the Paddington 2 Premiere at BFI Southbank, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 5, 2017. See PA story SHOWBIZ Paddington. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire (Photo by Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images)
David Heyman and Paul King attending the Paddington 2 Premiere (Credit: Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images)

The new Wonka movie will reportedly explore the eccentric confectioner's 'adventures prior to opening the world's most famous chocolate factory'.

As yet, there is no casting news.

Roald Dahl penned Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 1964, the tale of young Charlie Bucket who, after finding a golden ticket hidden in a chocolate bar, wins the chance to go inside Wonka's mythical factory.

He encounters a group of unpleasant, conceited children and their equally unpleasant parents, and eventually inherits the factory – leading onto the book's sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

Depp as Wonka in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Credit: Warner Bros)
Depp as Wonka in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Credit: Warner Bros)

The late Gene Wilder immortalised the role of Willy Wonka in 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Mel Stuart.

Though credited with writing the screenplay, Dahl famously disowned the film, disliking the liberties taken by producers, such as the musical numbers, the deviation from the plot of the original book, and the decision not to cast Spike Milligan in the lead role.

Read more: Matthew Lewis finds watching Harry Potter ‘painful’

Johnny Depp then donned a velvet suit and huge sunglasses for Tim Burton's take on the text in 2005, also starring Freddie Highmore, Helena Bonham Carter, David Kelly and Christopher Lee, with Burton embellishing the story to briefly confront Wonka's childhood.

It's not the only Wonka-based project in the pipeline.

Thor director Taika Waititi is also planning two animated series for Netflix, one around Charlie, and another around the Oompa-Loompas.

Watch: Jelly Belly founder launches Wonka-style contest