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Warner Bros. reportedly considering Timothée Chalamet for Willy Wonka prequel movie

Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Does the world need a Willy Wonka origin story? Well, we’re getting one anyway and the project officially has a release date. It’s currently scheduled to hit cinemas on March 17, 2023 with production due to start in the next four months, according to Variety.

Warner Bros. has been developing the prequel for nearly five years, and they’ve got some big names in mind for the role of the titular chocolatier – Timothée Chalamet and Tom Holland are reportedly being considered for the lead role.

Paddington director Paul King will helm the project, while Simon Rich, the screenwriter behind American Pickle, has penned the script. Plot details are being kept under wraps, but we know that the movie will focus on Wonka’s early days before he opened his infamous chocolate factory.

The role of the eccentric chocolatier has been taken on by A-listers in the past, with Gene Wilder playing Willy Wonka in the 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Johnny Depp took on the role for Tim Burton’s 2005 reboot, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

Based on Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s novel, the story of the original movies follows Charlie, a young boy who lives in poverty and wins one of five golden tickets to visit Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory that’s otherwise closed to the public. The other four children with golden tickets give into their desires during the tour and are ejected from the factory in a variety of darkly comic ways, until only Charlie is left and Willy Wonka names him as the heir to the chocolate factory.

In other chocolate-y news, Netflix has two animated series in the works based on the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, including an Oompa Loompa spin-off, with Taika Waititi set to direct. In the meantime, check out our list of the best Netflix shows that you can stream right now.