Children's properties that stand the test of time and are reimagined for ever-changing modern audiences are a rarity nowadays. One of them is Roald Dahl's 1964 children's book, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The novel has seen two successful movie adaptations, first in 1971 starring Gene Wilder, and then the 2005 remake with Johnny Depp. Currently, the franchise is gearing up for a third attempt.
In October of 2016, it was announced that Warner Bros. had started work on a #WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory reboot, written by Simon Richs (The Secret Life of Pets). This isn't your usual retelling of the past story, though. The film is expected to focus on the adventures of a young Wonka, which could potentially open the doors for a—say it with me—franchise down the line.
Things went quiet after that announcement, but the project's apparently picking up steam, because the studio might have found its main actor. The Hashtag Show is reporting that Warner Bros. is looking for actors between the ages of 29 and 35 for young Willy Wonka, and their frontrunner is America's favorite heartthrob, #RyanGosling.
Keep in mind, this is just a rumor, so we should take it with a grain of salt. However, The Hashtag Show has had scoops that have proven accurate in the past, so let's have some fun and consider for a second that this is actually happening: Would Ryan Gosling be a good choice for Willy Wonka? While he probably isn't the actor fans would imagine in the role at first, he can dance, sing and it doesn't hurt that he looks like a young Gene Wilder.
Plus, there's something I find really intriguing about seeing him in the role: Gosling is a phenomenal actor and it would be interesting to see what he could make of the role with how surprisingly nuanced as Wonka is, tone-wise. While Willy Wonka certainly has an upbeat personality, he rides a fine line between goofy, serious and honestly, kinda charmingly psychotic. We know Gosling has some impressive acting range, proved by how he can go from an upbeat playboy to a stoic, head-bashing driver from film to film with no problem, so I would love to see him take on the challenge.
What Should We Expect From This New Take On The Property?
As mentioned, Willy Wonka has already seen two movie adaptations. Each have made their respective impact on pop culture, and each relied heavily on the 1964 book. So that begs the question: What can the third try at the story do to differentiate itself from other adaptations? For starters, the new film will likely be an origin story, so there are already quite a few ways to set it apart from its predecessors. That's a great thing.
Seeing how there's very little we know about #WillyWonka's origin (expect for how he rescued the Oompa Loompas from their hostile planet), the movie will likely be an original story. That kind of prequel would be a good opportunity for a fresh take on the lore, and would give audiences the chance really get to know Wonka and expand on his puzzling mythology. How awesome would it be if we had answers to questions like: What happened to his family? Is he independently wealthy? How did he get his chocolate factory together? And how in the world did he create Wonka-Vite?
Those story possibilities, paired with Ryan Gosling's possible casting, could make Willy Wonka's new cinematic adventure something truly special. Now all we have to do is wait and see how the project develops.
What do you think about Rya Gosling for the Willy Wonka reboot? Where would you like to see the movie go? Let me know in the comments!