With Warner Bros. currently prepping a Willy Wonka prequel, it seems that Ryan Gosling is now being considered for the role of the eccentric candy mogul. Gosling has most recently garnered acclaim for his role in last year’s Oscar-winning musical La La Land and will also star in the much anticipated upcoming Blade Runner sequel, Blade Runner 2049, but a role like that of Willy Wonka would certainly place him in some new creative territory.
Since the late, great Gene Wilder took up the role of author Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka character back in 1971, Johnny Depp has also taken a stab at portraying the candy man, in Tim Burton’s 2005 adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. That effort received mixed reviews, however and Warners' announcement last year that the studio would be delving deeper into the Willy Wonka mythology was met with quite the buzz, especially around the issue of who exactly would be filling the role.
The news that Ryan Gosling is currently being considered for the Willy Wonka prequel comes courtesy of That Hash Tag Show, revealing that although yet to be confirmed, sources say that Warners is looking for an actor between the ages of 29 and 35. While Gosling sits just outside that age bracket at 36, the La La Land star has apparently expressed interest in playing the character. Warners could possibly be interested in Gosling’s proven singing and dancing abilities, if they are aiming to make the prequel the musical affair that the 1971 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was.
In terms of exactly what sort of story the upcoming prequel will aim to tell, that’s still being kept under wraps. Previous news reports have detailed Warners' efforts to make it clear that this will not be a sequel of any sort and have also hinted at the possibility of this being a Willy Wonka origin story. Of course, this makes perfect sense if the studio is currently looking to cast their Willy Wonka between the ages of 29 and 35. The film is being produced by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them producer David Heyman, with a script by Simon Rich (The Secret Life of Pets).
Many fans of the Roald Dahl novel as well as the 1971 film adaptation have been vocal of their disinterest in seeing Warner take on a Willy Wonka prequel. There’s ample reason to be concerned of course – especially since this will not be based on a Roald Dahl novel, but will create its own narrative of what Willy Wonka’s early years may have been like. However, if Gosling does sign on to the project, his talents could create a perfect match. Gosling’s deadpan deliveries and subtle comic timing are more in line with the sort of sensibilities Gene Wilder brought to the character – more so at least than Johnny Depp’s fun, but somewhat outlandish 2005 take.
Still, at this point we aren’t certain whether or not Gosling will indeed be crowned the new Willy Wonka, so it’s important to take things with a huge grain of salt. Whether or not Warners does end up casting Gosling, however, we will be getting a new Willy Wonka soon enough.
Source: That Hash Tag Show