‘Willy Wonka’ is Returning as a Prequel, and Bad Ideas Return with It

Alright. Um, show of hands… who is the turd that asked for this?

Anyone?! 

It’s bad enough Warner Bros. thought cinephiles were just wandering dark alleys everywhere looking for a reboot of the great Gene Wilder classic. Johnny Depp couldn’t hold Wilder’s candy-coated jock in terms of portraying the confection conductor.

We all knew it. We all saw it. And most of us couldn’t stand it. No one at WB got that memo so the rumor mill started spinning at the chocolate factory again that another Wonka production may be in the mix.

They got a little smarts at WB. Wilder could never be replaced or rebooted, so why not a rewind? If you were one of folks who saw Paddington, you may be familiar with its director Paul King. As recent as this past February, stories came out that either Ryan Gosling, Ezra “Flash” Miller, or Donald “Lando” Glover could be a younger Wonka, in terms of an origin film under King’s direction

wonka suspenseThere was never any comment about what, if anything, was happening. Until now. 

Adam Chitwood of Collider fame got the exclusive, there is indeed a prequel coming to screens in 20-something.

And, for those interested, he confirmed “Simon Rich (Man Seeking Woman) was writing the script and David Heyman (Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises) was producing.”

The books were great, although no one has really attempted the Wonka sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Yet, Hollywood in its eternal abyss of retread ideas and recycled thoughts, believes this movie — and that guy — needs a origin story, so says Heyman to Collider’s Steve Weintraub.

“We are still trying to figure out how to tell that story, what the story is. It’s a prequel, it’s not a sequel. What makes Willy—when we find him at the chocolate factory doing the golden ticket, where is he before that? What leads him to that place where he’s locked himself away?… It’s how does he get there? So we’re playing around with that.”

It’s almost like they need to “play around” with the idea because they don’t have a sandbox of their own, so why not pee in someone else’s pool? It’s only the shallow end. The stain only gets on your feet.

Play around?! This is Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka we’re talking here. To use his sage, irascible wit:

If the good Lord intended for us to walk, he never would’ve invented roller skates.

It seems Hollywood executives and soothsayers alike are glad for those roller skates so they can just whiz by thought-provoking and original ideas that take time to curate and heel-stop on the ones already done so they can microwave an easy-bake version of something for a quick check and some cinema mediocrity.

You know? Just playing around.

 

 

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