Paul King is trading in marmalade for chocolate bars.
EW can confirm that the Paddington helmer is in final negotiations to direct Willy Wonka, a new take on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Warner Bros. first announced it was developing the project with Harry Potter producer David Heyman back in fall 2016. The film will have a script from Simon Rich (The Secret Life of Pets) and will focus on Willy Wonka’s early adventures prior to the events of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The project would reunite King with Heyman, who also served as a producer on both Paddington films. Willy Wonka is a popular screen entity, having previously been adapted for film in the iconic 1971 iteration starring Gene Wilder as the chocolate factory mastermind and again in 2005 with Johnny Depp.
Warner Bros. is hoping the film might prove a golden ticket to a new franchise, and they also reportedly have an adaptation of Dahl’s The Witches in the works with a script from Guillermo del Toro.
King is currently enjoying immense success with Paddington 2, which has earned a record-breaking 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a BAFTA nomination for best British film.