HEAT VISION

Warner Bros. Sets 'Wonka' Prequel for 2023 Release

'Paddington' filmmaker Paul King will direct the project exploring the early life of the famed chocolatier.

Warner Bros. has set a date for Wonka, an origin story focusing on the storied chocolate factory owner.

Wonka, which will hit theaters on March 17, 2023, hails from Paddington director Paul King and Harry Potter producer David Heyman. The studio describes it as focusing on "a young Willy Wonka and his adventures prior to opening the world’s most famous chocolate factory."

Simon Rich wrote the original draft, with Simon Farnaby and King penning the current draft.

In the books by Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka is the eccentric owner of a chocolate factory, with the character debuting in the 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The character also appeared in Dahl's sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, published in 1972.

Gene Wilder portrayed Wonka in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, helping make the character and the Oompa-Loompas who work in his factory indelible parts of pop culture. Johnny Depp later stepped into the role of Wonka for Tim Burton's 2005 remake.

Wonka has been in the works for several years, with THR reporting King's involvement back in 2018. So far, Wonka has the March 17, 2023, date to itself.

Jan. 19, 11;59 a.m. Updated to include information on the screenwriters.

LATEST NEWS