The long-awaited prequel to Roald Dahl’s classic story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory now has a release date. March 17, 2023 has been officially marked by Warner Brothers as the day the origin story will be shown in theatres.
Paul King, known for films such as Paddington, will be directing, and Harry Potter producer David Heyman has signed on to produce. The script’s original draft was written in part by Simon Rich, who has previously written for Saturday Night Live as well as Seth Rogan’s newest movie, An American Pickle. The studio has described the upcoming film as focusing on “a young Willy Wonka and his adventures prior to opening the world’s most famous chocolate factory.”
Details about the plot for the origin story, Wonka, have been kept secret, and it is unknown if the new film will feature any other familiar characters, like the Oompa Loompas. Additionally, even though Willy Wonka’s origins were mentioned slightly in the 2005 reboot starring Johnny Depp, it is not yet known if the details shown in that film, namely Wonka’s father being a dentist and the island that Oompa Loompas come from, are canon or not. What is known is that the story will focus on the candy maker’s early days before the factory.
Warner Brothers has not announced any casting updates; however, Collider has reported on rumors that Tom Holland and Timothée Chalamet are among the studio’s top choices to play a young Willy Wonka.
The project was first announced in 2016, when David Heyman and Simon Rich signed on to produce and write the script, but details about it have been quiet since, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Netflix has been working on separate projects within the Willy Wonka universe since. Taika Waititi, a director best known for Thor: Ragnarok, is currently developing two different animated series. One series will feature familiar characters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, while the other one will focus solely on the Oompa Loompas.