There is a Willy Wonka prequel in the works to be helmed by producer David Heyman (Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). And it seems former Mouseketeer and La La Land star Ryan Gosling is in talks to play the eccentric chocolatier.
Willy Wonka is the creation of author Roald Dahl, featured in the 1964 children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and its sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has previously been adapted into two films — in 1971 with the late Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, and more recently in 2005 with Johnny Depp taking on the iconic role.
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s take on Willy Wonka was certainly different, and met with mostly negative, if not blase, reviews. Gene Wilder’s portrayal is nothing short of iconic. Ryan Gosling has proven he can take on comedic (see The Nice Guys) and musical (see La La Land) roles. As talented as he is, however, it will be a big hat to fill.
According to Variety, the film will be set before the events of Roald Dahl’s book but “will not be an origin tale.” Instead, it will see Wonka venture into Loompaland, where he meets his musical workers.
If successful, the upcoming prequel project could open the possibility for a franchise.