Quick, when you think of iconic pop culture characters in desperate need of an origin story, who comes to mind? No one? No one at all? You’re not interested in tinkering with your cherished memories of beloved cultural icons and want them to stay safe in the warm goo of nostalgia past?
Well, too bad, because there’s gold in them hills, and Hollywood is still in the business of dredging up any and all characters you might have ever heard of and giving them a fancy origin story because they’re a bunch of geniuses.
Next on the chopping block? Willy Wonka. Who is he? How did he come into a candy factory? Just who are all those Oompa Loompas and why do they serve his most fleeting whim, be it to pilot a candy steamboat through a nightmare tunnel or to kill of a bunch of innocent—if a bit precocious—children? Don’t care?
You’re going to have to because the movie is being made whether you like it or not. What’s more, word has it that Ryan Gosling is being offered the golden ticket that has been given to both Johnny Depp and Gene Wilder. So, hope you like your Willy Wonka as a hunky dreamboat but, again, what you like doesn’t really matter here because this is the world we’re living in and we’re just going to have to take it.
Willy Wonka, of course, is a creation of the great Roald Dahl, a man who famously loathed the 1971 classic adaptation of his book. He felt it placed too much emphasis on Wonka and not enough on Charlie, so one can only imagine how he’d feel about Willy Wonka getting a whole Willy Wonka Begins movie to himself.