A widely adapted children’s story that has already surfaced as two feature films, at least two video games, a theme park attraction, an opera, a radio production and countless stage versions is poised for yet another adaptation.
The material is Roald Dahl’s 1964 novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” perhaps most successfully adapted in 1971 for the Gene Wilder film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” A 2005 feature adaptation, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” starring Johnny Depp, was less well-received than the “original” movie.
The story has also been widely parodied, including spoofs by “Family Guy,” ‘Futurama,” “Robot Chicken” and “Dexter’s Laboratory.”
In an exclusive, Variety reports that Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to Willy Wonka from the Dahl estate and plans to make a new movie based on the oddball character.
Producer David Heyman, whose impressive track record includes the “Harry Potter” franchise, is behind the project.
“Heyman will produce with Michael Siegel, who is the manager of the Dahl estate,” Variety reports. “Kevin McCormick is exec producing. ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ scribe Simon Rich is penning the script. Courtenay Valenti and Jon Gonda are overseeing the project for the studio.”
The reports cites sources saying the project will be a standalone movie, not an origin tale, and will focus on Wonka’s early adventures.