‘Paddington’ Director in Talks to Do ‘Willy Wonka’ Reboot
If director Paul King could bring even just a fourth of the charm of his Paddington movies to a reboot of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with a new Willy Wonka, then color me in.
According to Variety, Warner Bros. is reportedly talking with King about helming a re-imagining of Roald Dahl’s classic called Willy Wonka, along with producer David Heyman, who produced both Paddington movies and Harry Potter series.
This new Wonka iteration has a tough act to follow, though. The 1971 film musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is so very beloved, even to this day. Gene Wilder still stands as the best Willy Wonka, weaving eccentricity with such pure imagination and magic. In the story, Wonka opens up his mysterious chocolate factory to five children, including young Charlie Bucket, after they’ve all found the elusive Golden Ticket in their favorite Wonka chocolate bars. Any number of wild and weird adventures take place once they are inside.
In 2005, director Tim Burton tried his hand at envisioning a new Willy Wonka for the times with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp, who managed to create one of his more quirky and strange Burton personas. I actually liked Depp’s interpretation of Wonka, sort of a cross between a clueless fop and someone who is dangerously clever. Unfortunately, the film as a whole failed to connect with audiences, who still had the 1971 classic in their heads.
Still, if anyone can give us a bright new Willy Wonka, it’s Paul King and David Heyman. Their Paddington movies are just tremendous delights, combining both heart and comedy in a way that never panders to one particular audience. It’s just a simple, sweet story and captures the essence of this small, blue-coat wearing bear living in London. Paddington 2 was just released last month and has grossed $205 million worldwide to date.
Let’s see how this Willy Wonka thing shakes out – and who’ll they’ll cast as their imaginative leader.