Ryan Gosling, Donald Glover, or Ezra Miller Could Play Willy Wonka in the New Reboot
Ah, Willy Wonka. The wackadoo candy lover and innovator adored and admired by children across the globe. Gene Wilder introduced the classic Roald Dahl character to the big screen in the 1971 film, balancing the character’s lovable warmth with his frightful eccentricities. Then Johnny Depp came along and turned Wonka into, well, a very Johnny Depp version for Tim Burton. Now the next iteration of the sweets innovator is in the works, and it could go in a variety of directions.
A new Willy Wonka movie is in development at Warner Bros, with Paddington director Paul King at the helm. The film is said to be a Wonka origin story, and according to a new report from Collider, three actors are currently at the top of Warner Bros’ shortlist for the lead: Ryan Gosling, Donald Glover, and Ezra Miller. That’s certainly a batch of actors who have pretty much… nothing in common. While all three are equally talented performers in their own respects, such a varied shortlist suggests the studio maybe has no clue what they want a Willy Wonka film to look like.
Gosling, who was rumored to be in consideration last year, would be be the tamest casting choice. Sure, the guy’s got range and could be interesting to watch as the tormented candy genius, but he’s a little too much of a likable everyman to standout as anything distinct in my mind. Glover, on the other hand, could certainly be compelling as a dashing and devilish Wonka – take the swagger of his Lando and the horrified look in his eyes from the final moments of the “This Is America” video, and you’ve got a pretty fascinating combo for the role.
Miller is someone I would be especially interested to see as a young Wonka though. He’s brought an unnerving charm to the weirdos he’s played before, from We Need to Talk About Kevin to his Credence of Fantastic Beasts. Plus there’s an innocence and boyishness to him that speaks to the childlike wonder inherent to Wonka – not to mention, if this is a prequel, the 25-year-old Miller makes more sense than Gosling, 37, and Glover, 34. Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts producer David Heyman is developing the film, so Miller wouldn’t be much of a stretch.
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