Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to “Willy Wonka” from the Roald Dahl estate and is teaming up with “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman on a new movie based on the colorful chocolate purveyor, TheWrap has learned.
Heyman, who produced the “Harry Potter” film series for Warner Bros., will produce the movie alongside Michael Siegel, the manager of the Dahl Estate.
Gene Wilder, who embodied the character in the 1971 film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory ” — based on Dahl’s 1964 novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” — and made it a beloved role for generations of schoolchildren, died in August at the age of 83. Warner Bros. rebooted the movie in 2005, with Johnny Depp playing Wonka.
A source close to the project said it is a standalone film focused on Wonka. If the movie does well, Warner Bros. could turn it into a franchise, with characters including Charlie making appearances in future installments.
Warner Bros. is also taking Dahl’s work to the stage — it’s rolling out a “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” Broadway show that will open Spring 2017 at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York. Jack O’Brien is directing the stage show, which is being produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures (Mark Kaufman), Langley Park Productions (Kevin McCormick) and Neal Street Productions (Sam Mendes and Caro Newling).
Heyman’s most recent project was Disney’s “The Light Between Oceans,” which hit theaters Sept. 2. Next up for him is the latest “Harry Potter” movie, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” premiering Nov. 18.