Four months after securing Paddington director Paul King to helm its new Willy Wonka movie, Warner Bros. has begun putting together a shortlist of stars for the titular role and the actors in question all yield exciting prospects.
According to an exclusive report by Collider, the WB shortlist is led by Ryan Gosling, Donald Glover and Ezra Miller. The project hails from Harry Potter producer David Heyman and screenwriter Simon Rich (Man Seeking Woman), and it’s rumored to be a prequel that will explore Wonka’s origin story.
Warner Bros. honestly can’t go wrong with any of these actors, so it may come down to whoever connects to the script more. The studio has a lot invested in Miller right now, who stars in WB’s Fantastic Beasts franchise plays The Flash in the DC movie universe.
Gosling has also spent his fair share of time at WB, working with them on Blade Runner 2049, Crazy, Stupid Love, The Nice Guys and Gangster Squad. WB also recently picked up his super-arthouse directorial debut Lost River. Gosling will be riding the coattails of his latest collaboration with Damien Chazelle, First Man, which could put him back in the Oscar race this fall, and after that, his schedule is pretty clear. He could also stand to do a four-quadrant, family-friendly tentpole, as most of his films have been aimed at adult audiences.
Donald Glover, who is coming off a scene-stealing performance in Solo: A Star Wars Story, is the real wild card here. While insiders report that he is actively chasing the role, he’s also been incredibly busy between his hit FX series Atlanta and his ongoing music career, but on the film side, all he has coming up is the voice of Simba in Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King.
Representatives for Warner Bros., Miller and Glover did not respond to requests for comment regarding this story.