Several months ago we got wind of a potential movie project that would tell the story of a young Willy Wonka in the events prior to the book or the previous film adaptations. Now, it looks like there may be a front-runner for the lead. A new report claims that the top candidate for the role of a young Willy Wonka is La La Land star, Ryan Gosling. The primary reason he's seen as the top pick is that he's actually already expressed interest in the role.
The initial report came back in October when it was announced that Warner Bros. had picked up the rights to Willy Wonka from the estate of Roald Dahl, the author of the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory novel. Rather than simply making a third version of the Chocolate Factory movie, the plan was apparently to start with a younger character and tell an early story in the life of Willy Wonka. Now, That Hashtag Show says that the studio is looking for an actor between 29 and 35 to play the part, but that Ryan Gosling is who they have their eye on, though Gosling is actually 36, and that Gosling himself actually has his eye on the part.
If a young Willa Wonka movie is a thing that we're going to get whether we like it or not, there are certainly worse choices than Ryan Gosling. While we have absolutely no idea what sort of movie this will be, if the plan is to make a movie that's a sort of prequel to the Gene Wilder musical, we know that Ryan Gosling has the musical chops to pull that off. Put him in loud enough clothing and he could certainly look like a younger version of that character.
More than likely, the idea is to make a brand new movie, one that could possibly lead into a remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory if the first movie is a success, because why make one movie, when you can build a franchise? Still, whether portrayed by Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp, Willy Wonka has always been an odd mix of a man who seemingly loves childhood, while simultaneously hating children. We could totally see Ryan Gosling pulling that off, with or without musical accompaniment.
If Ryan Gosling is truly interested in playing Willy Wonka there's a fairly good chance the job will be his. Between movies like La La Land and the forthcoming Blade Runner sequel, Gosling's stock should be fairly high. The studio will almost certainly want a major name in the lead role, and even if Gosling isn't quite seen that way right now, he surely will be by the time this goes into production.
What do you think? Is Ryan Gosling the right choice to play Willy Wonka? Sound off in the poll below.