ByRyann Whelan, writer at
Yes to life, yes to love, yes to staying in more!
Ryann Whelan

With the recent announcement that the new movie may be more of an origin story than a sequel, we’re learning a little more about what we can expect from the Warner Bros. project. The classic Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is especially beloved at the moment with the recent passing of Gene Wilder — what actor could possibly take on such a complicated role? There will be no matching Wider's iconic performance!

The complex character of Willy Wonka is eccentric, comedic, whimsical and sometimes frightening and intense. One of the best things about Wilder’s portrayal is how subtly he plays such an outrageous figure.

The 2004 Tim Burton remake starred Johnny Depp, who landed the role because he's known for playing eccentric characters — but he didn't quite capture the intangible, magical oddness of Wilder's reserved, quiet performance. Yes, eccentricity comes through in the nonsense words Wonka says and the colorful, mad setting around him, but Wilder mostly played it pretty straight, with a knowing smirk.

So, for the prequel, who could essentially play a younger version of Wilder's interpretation? The choice is clear to me: .

While Gosling may seem more like a dramatic heartthrob than a whimsical chocolatier, consider the facts:

Gosling Embodies The Subtle Style Wilder Brings To Wonka

Wonka is oftentimes reserved and withholding, with light smirks and winks and raises of his eyebrows — until he’s explosive and passionate, both of which Gosling excels at. Gosling has an electricity and passion that he brings to every role, along with something of Wilder’s wit, that would translate well to the strange, genius recluse chocolatier.

He Could Portray Wonka's Hint Of Exasperation With Everyone Around Him

The obtuse adults and spoiled children don’t appreciate the world of Wonka's creation. Of course, by the end of the film, there is also a glimpse of the sensitive and caring side of Wonka, which Gosling would have no trouble with either.

He Can Do Terrific, Nuanced Comedic Performances

Crazy, Stupid Love and The Nice Guys proved that Gosling can make us laugh, not to mention his charming sense of humor in real life.

He Can Handle The Musical Responsibilities Gosling showcases in the new musical , which is receiving rave reviews.

He could absolutely evoke Wilder’s style, while undoubtedly bringing his own flavor to the role. With Gosling as Wonka, the reboot would gain credibility and Gosling would get a chance to embody a classic character and venture into different territory in his career.

But until the decision is made, there's no earthly way of knowing which direction they are going.

Who do you think should play Willy Wonka in the new reboot? Let us know in the comments below!


Latest from our Creators