New Willy Wonka Movie Might Be An Origin Story

A few weeks ago, we got word of another Willy Wonka movie in the works from Warner Bros., with Harry Potter's David Heyman producing. So naturally, when I had the chance to sit down with Heyman at the recent Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them junket, I had to ask him about it.

During our conversation, Heyman offered a minor status update, offering hints about what the movie might be (hint: not a remake), and explaining why he wanted to make a new Willy Wonka movie in the first place. 

Heyman was quick to emphasize that his movie won't just be another rehash of the same familiar tale:

It's not a remake. They've done two films, quite different. But it's possibly an origin story. We're just in the early stages of it, working with a writer called Simon Rich, which is wonderful.

But with two high-profile Willy Wonka movies already in existence, why bother returning to that same character? Heyman continued:

I'm a huge Roald Dahl fan. I've been trying to work on Dahl material for quite some time but they're all tied up. So when this was suggested, I didn't take a moment to pause and want to jump right in.

Although the new film will be based on Dahl's famous character, it's not expected to draw from existing Dahl books. While Heyman didn't offer too many concrete plot details, he hinted that the movie might explore other periods of Willy Wonka's life.

It's challenging because you don't have Dahl, you don't have a Dahl book, and yet you have a Dahl character. But I think there's a lot in his character that suggests who he is and also where he might come from or what his childhood or his middle age might have been like. So we're exploring that. We're discussing it. We're in the very early stages and very excited about what lies ahead.

A film about Willy Wonka's formative years seems like it'd have the potential to backfire terribly, but it all depends on execution. Rich certainly seems to have a taste for the weird, given that he's the creator of FXX's offbeat comedy Man Seeking Woman, so let's hope he's got the goods to deliver a truly interesting spin on this classic character.