Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is one of the great sacred cows of cinema - a movie so beloved, so defined by its spirit and lead performance, that remaking it seems like folly.
The Hollywood Reporter has announced that King, the director of the whimsical and warm live-action/CGI flick Paddington, is set to direct Warner Bros. The second film, after 176 positive reviews, still holds strong at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. The script has reportedly already been written by Simon Rich, who previously worked on Inside Out and The Secret Life of Pets, so Willy Wonka will likely bring the tears. The passing of star Gene Wilder in 2016 only cemented a perennial appreciation for the lighthearted fun and innocence that was 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Director Paul King (Paddington, The Mighty Boosh) is now in talks with Warner Bros to direct a new Wonkatastic adaptation of Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, though details of how closely it'll follow the source material remain to be seen.
Dahl's book also had a followup with Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, and the report makes it clear Warner Bros.is attempting to revitalize some of its properties. The hope for Wonka is that King will initiate a new franchise that will stand out artistically. A Wonka franchise would certainly work out in the studio's favor if done properly. Another, "The Witches", boasts a script by Guillermo del Toro and has sparked the interest of filmmaker Robert Zemeckis.
For those unaware, Paddington and Paddington 2 are critical juggernauts.
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