Though some might argue that Tim Burton's vaguely threatening 'Charlie & The Chocolate Factory' had some prequel moments, it looks like Warner Bros. is taking the opportunity to go ahead and make a prequel movie of the famed Roald Dahl character.
Variety is reporting that Paul King, the director of 'Paddington' and its excellent sequel, is set to begin work on the movie with a release date slotted for March 17th, 2023. Interestingly enough, this isn't the only Wonka-related content in the works at the moment.
It's understood that Netflix has not one but two animated series in the works about Willy Wonka, with none other than Taika Waititi set to write, direct, and produce both of these series. With Netflix involved, it would seem highly unlikely that their animated series is in any way connected to this particular movie, other than featuring the same literary character.
While the idea of a Willy Wonka prequel movie has been around for some time, the casting choice has shifted over the years. Once upon a time, Ryan Gosling was the man for the role, but a report by Collider now has either Tom Holland or Timothée Chalamet in the running for the purple velvet suit. It's not yet known if either actor has been approached or if they themselves are interested in the part.
So, thoughts? Honestly, the best time to do this was about five or six years ago when Ryan Gosling was interested. You could easily see him slotting nicely into Gene Wilder's mannerisms and sense of aloof humour pretty easily, not to mention that they look quite similar.
All that said, Paul King is a fantastic choice to take this on and you only need to look at 'Paddington 2' to know that he can take what could have been a stale idea and make it into something truly special.