Ryan Gosling, Donald Glover and Ezra Miller are reportedly the three names on Warner Brothers’ shortlist to lead their new Willy Wonka film.
Collider is reporting that the three actors are all in contention to headline the film which would explore the early days of the candy maker up to him acquiring his famed chocolate factory. Paddington director Paul King will be helming the film, working from a screenplay by Simon Rich, which had originally placed on the 2014 Black List.
Gosling has been a darling of Warner Brothers for some time, appearing in a number of their films including Blade Runner 2049, Crazy Stupid Love and Gangster Squad over the past several years. Collider notes that the actor’s schedule seems fairly free at the moment and with the Oscar buzz he is already getting for the film First Man, he could be the forerunner in this race. Warners seems to also like to be in business with Miller, given his ongoing roles in the Harry Potter spinoff franchise Fantastic Beasts and as the Flash in the DC Comics Cinematic Universe. But Glover is reportedly campaigning for the role. While he has his commitments to his FX series Atlanta, he may be able to juggle both the TV series and this film on his schedule.
The real question becomes, does anyone want to see the story of Willy Wonka discovering the Oompa Loompas and bringing them back to civilization to work in his factory? Audiences seem to be pretty cold to the prospect of learning about the early days of Star Wars rogue Han Solo if that film’s box office is any indicator. One of the main aspects of the character is the air of mystery he has, something that helps explain the motivation of people looking to win that trip inside his candy shop in the original Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory. I am not sure that that is a mystery audiences really want solved.