After years of development at Warner Bros, they are finally moving forward with a prequel for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The movie will be an origin story called Wonka. Warner Bros has a script, a director, and a release date in March 2023. Now, they need a star. Could the next Willy Wonka be Tom Holland? Sources for Collider are marking either Holland or Timothée Chalamet to take on the role.
For a young Willy Wonka, either Timothée Chalamet or Tom Holland make easy guesses. They’re both under thirty and currently very recognizable. Chalamet is about to pick up a lot of attention when Dune finally releases. Holland has been in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Spider-Man for years now. Currently, he is set to star in Cherry, a quieter movie from the Russo brothers. Well, at least quieter than Endgame, we think. While Tom Holland certainly seems to be in demand, a Willy Wonka prequel story from Warner Bros is a high-profile project.
The big question, for anyone who has seen Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, is what will happen in the story? While they have a script from Simon Rich ready to go, they aren’t giving us any hints about what happens in it. Of course, everyone wants to know if there will be Oompa Loompas dancing alongside Tom Holland. Imagining that makes it a bit easier to picture Holland in the role.
In the retelling from Tim Burton in 2005, it was mentioned that Willy Wonka’s father was a dentist. It was said the man hated sugar because it rots teeth. In terms of the movies, this is about as much as we know about Wonka’s origins, and it isn’t even necessarily going to be held as canon. There is also the material from the books to pull from. Roald Dahl created Willy Wonka in his two novels, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Not much of the character’s origins are mentioned in the books. This doesn’t give us a lot to go on for what we could see Tom Holland do should he take the part.
As for the Oompa Loompas, their origin story would definitely be something made up by the scriptwriters and not pulled from the novels. The Oompa Loompas have become beloved characters from the Gene Wilder movie but had a controversial start in the books. Roald Dahl actually published Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 1964. In that version, the Oompa Loompas were a group of 3,000 slaves from Africa. In the 1970s, another author finally came out and said something about this being terrible. Roald Dahl defended how he wrote the original, but in the mid-1970s when Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator was published, a new version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory came with it. In this update, the Oompa Loompas are white hippies with golden-brown hair.
Wonka is set to be directed by Paul King, who directed Paddington. This hints at possibly a more light-hearted children’s take on the chocolate factory owner’s origins. Will there be dancing? Tom Holland has shown us he can dance. Could the Oompa Loompas be animated? That seems like a real possibility. At this point, the rest is all pure imagination.