Warner Bros. is reportedly looking at big names, including Donald Glover and Ryan Gosling, to headline their upcoming Willy Wonka movie. Directed by Paddington's Paul King, the film is said to be a prequel that could act as an origin story of sorts for the famed candy entrepreneur. One thing the project will not be, however, is another retelling of the popular Charlie and the Chocolate Factory novel that's been adapted for the big screen multiple times, meaning this will be an entirely new narrative for audiences to experience.
Willy Wonka first entered development back in 2016 and has been slowly coming together ever since. Now that King is on board to helm the film, the next order of business is finding an actor to portray the title character. And if people were dismissive of a Wonka prequel, the names WB is eyeing is sure to command attention and proves the studio is going the extra mile.
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According to Collider, the top of WB's short list is a who's who of A-listers: Donald Glover, Ryan Gosling, and Ezra Miller. This isn't the first time Gosling's name has been attached to Willy Wonka. It was only last year word got out he was interested in taking on the role, and it appears that feeling is mutual. Given the musical chops Gosling displayed in his Oscar-nominated turn in La La Land, it's easy to picture the actor singing and dancing his way through the chocolate factory.
Of course, Gosling's alleged competition is loaded with talent. Glover's star is on a meteoric rise thanks to his FX series Atlanta, his continued success as his musical alter-ego Childish Gambino, and a scene-stealing turn as Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Collider indicates Glover is "actively chasing" the role of Wonka, and he would certainly give an enthusiastic and energetic performance that's fitting of the character. Miller, who also has music in his background, boasts a history with Willy Wonka producer David Heyman due to his role in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. That doesn't necessarily give Miller the upper hand, but it's logical for the producer to want to at least give Miller a look.
It's currently unknown if Willy Wonka will be a musical like its classic predecessor, but since WB is targeting thespians who can blend both acting and singing seamlessly, it certainly sounds like there will be some catchy numbers in this film. As for which actor will take viewers to the world of pure imagination, that remains to be seen, but any of these three would make for a great Willy Wonka if they were cast. Plus, with King's Paddington films ranking among the most acclaimed films of recent years, there's a good chance Willy Wonka is a worthwhile endeavor.