Paddington's Paul King is directing the film, which follows Roald Dahl's protagonist as a young man, pre-chocolate factory.

By Devan Coggan
January 19, 2021 at 01:14 PM EST
Credit: Everett Collection

Warner Bros. is reopening the chocolate factory.

The studio has set a 2023 release date for Wonka, its long-in-the-works prequel film set in the world of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The new movie, which will hit theaters March 17, 2023, will center on a young Willy Wonka and "his adventures prior to opening the world's most famous chocolate factory."

Warner Bros. first announced that it was developing a new take on Willy Wonka back in 2016, with Harry Potter's David Heyman attached to produce and Simon Rich writing the script. Paul King, who directed Paddington and its excellent sequel, has since signed on to direct.

Dahl's original 1964 book, about Charlie Bucket and his eventful tour of Wonka's factory, has been adapted for the big screen twice before: Gene Wilder famously played the outlandish chocolate tycoon in 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, while Johnny Depp starred in the darker, Tim Burton-directed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2005.

Meanwhile over at Netflix, the streaming giant is currently working on its own separate projects set in Wonka's candy-colored world: Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi is developing two animated series, one about the familiar world and characters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the other focusing just on the Oompa-Loompas.

As for who might wind up playing Wonka in Warner Bros.' new film? The suspense is terrible; I hope it'll last.

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