‘Willy Wonka’ prequel in the works

Los Angeles, Oct 20 (IANS) “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” is getting a prequel.

Entertainment company Warner Bros is developing a new movie focusing on the eccentric character and his early adventures after acquiring the rights to the “Willy Wonka”.

Variety.com has quoted sources as saying that Warner Bros has acquired the rights to the “Willy Wonka” IP from the Roald Dahl Estate and is planning a new movie centred on the eccentric character.

Heyman will produce the project with Michael Siegel, who is the manager of the Dahl Estate.

According to the sources, the film will not be an original tale, but a standalone movie focused on Wonka and his early adventures. It’s unknown who from the original book series, other than Wonka, will be involved in the project.

If the reboot is a hit, it seems likely that characters like Charlie could be seen in future installments of a possible franchise, variety.com said.

The studio has been trying to lock down rights from the Dahl Estate since the beginning of the year and finally closed a deal earlier this fall. Dahl penned two books in which Wonka appeared — the 1964 novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the 1972 book “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator” — but never wrote anything focused specifically on the Wonka character.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” has since been adapted into two feature films, most recently by Warner Bros. in 2005 with Tim Burton directing and Johnny Depp starring as Wonka. The original Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder, died on August 29.

Warner Bros’ musical adaptation of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” playing on the West End since 2013, will open on Broadway in April 2017.