Willy Wonka has been central to two different adaptations of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but there has never been a film focused solely on him. Now, according to Variety, that’s about to change. Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to the Willy Wonka IP from Roald Dahl’s estate and are looking to create a new movie focused on the iconic character.
David Heyman, who built the Harry Potter franchise and is currently rebuilding it in the form of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will produce the film alongside Michael Siegel, the manager of the Dahl Estate. Simon Rich (The Secret Life of Pets) will write the script.
This new film will not be an origin story. Instead, it will focus on the early adventures of Wonka’s life. It’s unclear who else from the original story may appear. Dahl wrote two stories featuring the Wonka character. 1964’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has already been adapted on two separate occasions, while 1972’s Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator has remained largely untouched.
Warner Bros. already has a musical adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory up and running on the West End, which will make its Broadway debut in April. As for the new film, we may need to create some sort of shorthand for the Willy Wonka cinematic universe.