Warner Bros. has been developing a new Willy Wonka movie for around five years, expected to be a prequel of sorts exploring the character’s early days before the events at the Chocolate Factory. The studio hired Paddington director Paul King to helm the film back in 2018, and now they’ve finally given the movie a concrete release date: March 17, 2023.
But now the hunt resumes for the lead actor. Back in 2018 it was reported that the studio was considering names such as Ryan Gosling, Donald Glover and Ezra Miller, but all those names have fallen to the wayside, with two new candidates entering the fray. WB reportedly has its eyes on either Tom Holland or Timothée Chalamet to play Wonka.
To be clear, the role has not been offered to either actor, and neither may even want it. They’ve probably got their pick of great roles right now and might now want to tie themselves to a character made famous by other actors. But it’s obvious why the studio would be interested in either actor, as they’ve each become big stars over the past few years.
Both actors do currently have gaps in their schedule that could be filled by Wonka. Chalamet is attached to play Bob Dylan in James Mangold‘s Going Electric, but Mangold will shoot the fifth Indiana Jones movie first. And Holland is currently filming a third Spider-Man movie, but has no other upcoming projects.
The studio reportedly plans to begin production within the next four months, so those schedule gaps could prove key. King is directing from a script penned by Simon Rich (An American Pickle) who will obviously draw inspiration from Roald Dahl‘s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.
It’s pretty debatable whether audience are really interested in another Willy Wonka project, but the film will probably have success because of its IP, which is familiar to all age groups. We’ll wait and see whether Holland or Chalamet secures the role, or whether another young actor swoops in.