The chocolate factory is opening its gates once again, as Warner Bros. has secured the rights to the Willy Wonka IP. Harry Potter producer David Heyman, who is also helping spur the studio’s now five-film spin-off franchise Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will produce the WILLY WONKA REBOOT based on the books by children’s author Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. SNL alum and Secret Life of Pets screenwriter Simon Rich will pen the script.
According to reports, the story will not be an origin tale, but a standalone film focused on the Wonka character and his early adventures. If the film is successful, other familiar characters from the books – namely the Charlie character – may appear in subsequent films of what could become a franchise.
Michael Siegel, the manager of the Dahl Estate, will executive produce with Kevin McCormick. Courtenay Valenti is overseeing the project for Warners.
Thanks in part to the portrayal by the late Gene Wilder in Paramount adaptation of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Willy Wonka has become a beloved pop cultural figure since the original film’s release in 1971. More recently, Tim Burton adapted the story in 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp giving his take on the quirky character.
Heyman served as a producer or executive producer on eight installments of the mega-successful Harry Potter franchise. He also served as a producer on the Oscar-winning Gravity, the popular family flick Paddington, and this year’s The Light Between Oceans. In addition to November’s Fantastic Beasts Part One, Heyman is also a producing on Paddington 2, currently in production.
Josh Lyons | Managing Editor
This news was first reported by Variety.