‘Paddington’s Paul King in Talks to Direct New ‘Willy Wonka’ Movie
After working his magic on the really, really ridiculously charming Paddington movies (which, according to Film Twitter, could very well lead to world peace), director Paul King is ready to bring a bit of that charm to the world of Willy Wonka. King is in talks to tackle a new movie based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — which, let’s be real, seemed like a really, really ridiculously uninspired idea…until Paul King came along.
Per THR, Warner Bros. is hoping King and his particular set of skills (very British, very charming — did I say charming?) will transform Willy Wonka into a hit franchise. The studio is working to reinvigorate some existing properties for the younger set, which includes titles by Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss. The Wonka story was first adapted for the big screen in 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder as the eponymous eccentric candy-maker who invites a group of bratty kids to his factory and tortures them with sugar.
The story was adapted again by Tim Burton for 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp as
a talking hat the maniac candy inventor. Unlike previous versions, Warner Bros. hopes to turn this Wonka into an actual franchise — because apparently they never actually read Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, which is a legitimately f—ed up book. But hey, maybe Paul King, who made two of the most adorable, kind-hearted and charming-so-charming movies of the past decade can turn these weird-ass Wonka stories into something less…troubling.
THR also notes that Warner Bros. is developing a new film based on Roald Dahl’s The Witches — previously adapted by Nicolas Roeg for the 1990 film starring Anjelica Huston. Guillermo del Toro scripted the redo for WB, which is currently meeting with directors for the project. (Robert Zemeckis is said to be one of those names.)