Willy Wonka has become a beloved character throughout the decades and Warner Bros. is continuing his tale with a prequel film that will reveal what the candy man was up to before owning his famed chocolate factory.

The character was first introduced in Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s novel, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, before the book was adapted into the 1971 film Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Although not a box-office hit when released, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory gained critical acclaim and has become a fan favorite today.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory has been adapted numerous times with a second film, with the same name as the book, being released in 2005 starring Johnny Depp as the famed chocolatier. The Wonka legacy has included not only novels and films, but musicals, opera, video games, and an upcoming animated series based on the Roald Dahl novel and sequel, Charlie And The Glass Elevator, as well as a spin-off focused on the Oompa Loompas.

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In 2016 Warner Bros. acquired the rights to the Willy Wonka IP from the Roald Dahl estate and for years now a prequel has been in the works. The Wonka prequel musical film has gained traction with Timothée Chalamet being cast in the lead role where he will have the chance to show off his singing and dancing skills on screen.

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So far details have been scarce with the only thing known about Wonka is it will be a prequel film about the titular character’s early adventures. The mysterious character has captured the imagination of families for decades especially after Gene Wilder brought him to life on screen, including his unforgettable entrance. This prequel has endless possibilities especially with the film taking place before he is the famous Candy Man. We here at The Illuminerdi can shed a bit more light on the highly anticipated film.

According to our sources the origin story will take place during the Industrial Revolution in England in the mid-19th century. The prequel will also include the discovery of the Oompa Loompas during Wonka’s early adventures. In addition, the production has shown serious interest in Olivia Colman to play one of the villains for the film, however it’s unclear at this point if she has accepted the role.

Willy Wonka Timothee Chalamet

Wonka will be directed by Paul King (Paddington, Paddington 2) from the screenplay he co-wrote with Simon Farnaby who he has worked with before on Paddington 2. David Heyman who produced the Harry Potter series will be producing Wonka along with Michael Siegel the manager of the Roald Dahl estate.

Instead of adapting either of Roald Dahl’s book that feature the chocolatier, the prequel film will reveal the mysterious origins of the enigmatic eccentric. Seeing how Willy Wonka became the eccentric chocolatier fans know and love should be a blast especially with the musical element that audiences love from the 1971 adaptation.

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Willy Wonka’s legacy has lived on for decades and even cast members from the 1971 adaptation Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory are happy about the newest addition. In an interview with People some of the cast members were asked about their thoughts on the upcoming prequel:

“As Julie [Cole] likes to say, ‘There’s room for all of us. We can all play well together in the sandbox,’ ” Peter Ostrum who played Charlie revealed. “And the prequel will shed more light on early Wonka.”

“But again, there’s been so many different versions of Willy Wonka, be it on Broadway, opera, a pinball machine … you can’t kill the Willy Wonka story,” he added. “So all of it is good. It’s a great story. And people enjoy whatever different version they’re watching; it’s fun to watch. So I think we’re all looking forward to the prequel.”

Colman, should she take the role, could be a great addition to the film. The award winning actress has experience in drama, comedy, and even musicals with the musical film London Road. How this villain could come into play with Wonka’s origin is still a mystery although maybe there will be some connection to the Oompa Loompas or perhaps she will be part of the reason the chocolate factory owner famously goes into hiding.

Olivia Colman Queen Elizabeth The Crown Willy Wonka

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Although it’s doubtful this villain would be directly tied to the chocolatier closing the doors to his factory, as this is an origin story of his early adventures. It could possibly be part of why he’s slow to trust and feels the need to test people as he does with Charlie and the other children when looking for an heir. Whatever the case may be this film should be a fantastical adventure of “pure imagination”, expanding on the lore of this truly timeless character.

Willy Wonka

Wonka is scheduled for a March 17, 2023 release. Are you excited about Wonka? Do you want to see Olivia Colman in the film? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media and check back with The Illuminerdi for more Warner Bros. news.

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