ByAllanah Faherty, writer at Creators.co
Staff Writer and resident Walking Dead expert at MP. Tweet me @bananallanah or email [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

Strap yourself in for a wild ride, because there's no earthly way of knowing which direction this latest reboot is going!

Variety has reported that Warner Bros. and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them producer David Heyman are teaming up to bring Willy Wonka back to the big screen.

It's the truth, I swear!
It's the truth, I swear!

Warner Bros have reportedly acquired the rights to the "Willy Wonka" intellectual property from the Roald Dahl Estate, and are planning a brand new film around the chocolate factory owner. But just incase you feared another iteration of the Willy Wonka/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, fear not because apparently the film will be a prequel, focussing on Willy Wonka's early adventures.

See Also:

The two Willy Wonkas so far
The two Willy Wonkas so far

Rumor has it that while the prequel will center on Willy Wonka, if the film is a success it could open the door for future sequels and also the potential return of characters such as Charlie Bucket. Given that Dahl originally wrote two books about Wonka and Charlie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator), and started work on a third (the unfinished Charlie and the White House) there's certainly a fair amount of source material for films to be based on.

So, with a prequel seeming in motion the big question is: who exactly will take on the role of Willy Wonka? It's a heavy hat to wear, and after the recent passing of Gene Wilder the role has become more iconic than ever. But pressure aside, take a look below at four contenders we think could be great:

Alan Tudyk

Alan Tudyk in Firefly [Fox]
Alan Tudyk in Firefly [Fox]

This is a suggestion put forth on Reddit, and I have to agree that Firefly star Alan Tudyk would make one hell of a Wonka. Not only does Tudyk have the acting ability, but he'd also be able to perfectly strike the balance between the serious dramatic side of the character, and the playful comedic side.

Sure, Tudyk is actually older than Wilder was when he played Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but c'mon, age is but a number when you have the miracle of post-production.

Paul Dano

Paul Dano in Swiss Army Man [A24]
Paul Dano in Swiss Army Man [A24]

If the film were to follow a young version of Wonka there's no doubt that Little Miss Sunshine and Swiss Army Man actor Paul Dano would be a top choice. Dano has been on the rise for a few years, and with films like Looper, 12 Years a Slave and Love & Mercy under his belt, perhaps it's his time for an iconic role like Willy Wonka.

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys
Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys

Comedies, dramas, romance and musicals = tick, tick, tick and tick, Ryan Gosling covered all the main genres over movies over the last few years, but could a Willy Wonka adventure film be the next string in his already over strung bow? Not to mention that if Gosling were to become Wonka, there'd be hearts melting worldwide. Hey girl!

James Franco

James Franco in Oz the Great and Powerful [Walt Disney Studios]
James Franco in Oz the Great and Powerful [Walt Disney Studios]

You gotta admit, attitude-wise James Franco would probably nail the character of Willy Wonka. While he might play him a little closer to Depp than Wilder, Franco would still be a great choice for the eccentric chocolate factory owner. After all, his role in the 2013 film Oz the Great and Powerful is surely an indication that he can pump life into a beloved premise.

Will you watch a Willy Wonka prequel?

Gene Wilder ain't sure
Gene Wilder ain't sure