Why a Willy Wonka origins movie could be bad news for children – and Michael Aspel – The Guardian

Movie
Will Paul Kings planned prequel follow in the pawprints of Paddington? Or might it stick closer to Warner Bros newest origins struck: Joker?

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It was revealed this week that Warner Bros has actually greenlit what may perhaps certify as the most meaningless film in movie theater history: a Willy Wonka origin story.The film called Wonka will be launched in 2023, it has been in development for the last four years and there are plans to shoot in the UK in September. In reality the Wonka prequel may well turn out to be extremely good.
It revealed a CGI Paddington (which was sacrilege in itself at the time) looking bedraggled and scary, like he d simply invested 3 hours dismembering schoolchildren in the woods. Of course the movies were launched, and they were so non-stop wonderful that the same individuals jointly selected to fast-track them to national treasure status.Tim Burtons Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp (pictured) cheapened the character. They might have announced a sock puppet musical based on the life of Jeffrey Dahmer as their next job and individuals would have still clamoured to see it.
In spite of this, Wonka might yet prove to be an overstretch. As a character, Willy Wonka is uncommonly brittle, only really succeeding when hes kept within the confines of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In Roald Dahls book, where he stays mysterious and opaque throughout, hes a titan of kidss literature. When he was played by Gene Wilder in 1971s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, his lack of backstory implied that he might get away with being a charmingly inconsistent sociopath.The issues emerge when developers begin to take liberties with this fantastic unknown figure. Tim Burtons incoherent 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remake lost its way the minute it chose to provide Wonka a tangible inspiration. In that movie, the chocolate factory existed as a manifestation of generational vengeance, a grand scheme to get one over on his dental expert dad who never let him eat sugary foods as a child. This belaboured description wasnt simply unneeded; it likewise cheapened the character. It suggested that he was no longer a figure of intrigue. It suggested that he ended up being, yuck, a mortal.Even Dahl didnt have much luck with Willy Wonka beyond Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The books sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, was meandering and tedious therefore inferior to the initial that nobody has actually ever tried to make it into a movie. Worse yet, it didnt have the first hint of what to do with Willy Wonka once he d left the chocolate factory. Tellingly, a 3rd book in the series– Charlie in the White House– was dropped by Dahl after simply a single chapter was completed.Timothée Chalamet (imagined in Dune) and Tom Holland have actually been connected to the lead role in Wonka. Photo: Landmark Media/Alamy Stock PhotoSo the idea of an entire film that painstakingly describes what made Wonka has the potential to be punishingly dull. The worst case circumstance is that it will grind out explanation after explanation for every little trinket that gets mentioned in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Do we require a series where he comes to get his leading hat? Do we actually require to see the formative motivation that resulted in the production of the chocolate river? Genuinely, we do not. People have actually attempted to make this sort of over-explanatory film prior to, most significantly with the Star Wars prequel Solo, and they tend to be greeted with absolutely nothing but shrugs.
What, then, could the Wonka prequel be about? It cant have to do with his moms and dads, due to the fact that Burton has actually currently messed up that. It cant be about how he concerned employ the Oompa Loompas, because that would be a film about colonisation, which doesnt look like it would sit particularly well in the present climate. Could it be about the origins of Wonkas cruel idealism, and how it came to manifest itself in a burning hatred for children? I suggest, it could, but that most likely would not get as numerous bums on seats as Warner Bros would like.Or possibly it would. After all, Joker proved the appeal of oppressively bleak origin stories. No one needed to understand the history of The Joker. The definitive Joker is still the one from The Dark Knight, who sharked in and out of the story without ever definitively describing himself, so the idea of giving the exact same character a long dreary movie where he could consistently describe the exact combination of mental disorder and socioeconomic situations that caused his development felt like a huge act of narrative overkill. And yet the movie made a billion dollars and won 2 Oscars. So who knows? Perhaps Wonka will copy the Joker formula and wind up with Willy Wonka shooting Michael Aspel in the chest and leading a violent citywide insurgency.Oppressively bleak origin story … Joaquin Phoenix in Joker. Photo: Niko Tavernise/APOf course, Joker also showed that nothing sells like existing intellectual property and this might explain why Wonka happened. The 10 most significant motion pictures of 2019 included four films about comics characters, two remakes of Disney cartoons, 2 Disney sequels, a Star Wars movie and a sequel to a reboot of Jumanji. Even the biggest non-English motion picture of that year, Ne Zha, was based upon a 16th-century Chinese novel. In fact, the top 28 movies of the year were either follows up, reboots, adjustments of existing work or dramatisations of well-known historic events.
You need an icon to cut through a logjam like that and Willy Wonka is definitely an icon. He appears in books that have offered tens of countless copies and films that have earned practically half a billion dollars. Hes a recognized quantity with cross-generational appeal, and these days that is half the fight won. Its still no warranty of success, however its a much safer bet than sinking a hit spending plan on an unproved idea.Besides, it isnt like Wonka has much competitors if it wants to be beloved. The huge majority of origin story prequels are dreadful. No one is hurrying out to view Dumb and Dumberer, Dracula Untold, The First Purge, Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, Van Wilder: Freshman Year or Psycho IV: The Beginning, due to the fact that these films were made from a position of overall innovative poverty.Sometimes, however, they can be made with love. Monsters University isnt a classic but its a worthwhile addition to Monsters, Inc. And, if its late and youre drunk, Kong: Skull Island is a lot of fun. Wonka does not have numerous hurdles to clear if it wants to be the very best origin story prequel ever made. After all, it has a remarkably skilled team behind it. Complete stranger things have happened.

It was revealed this week that Warner Bros has greenlit what may perhaps certify as the most pointless movie in cinema history: a Willy Wonka origin story.The movie called Wonka will be released in 2023, it has actually been in development for the last four years and there are plans to shoot in the UK in September. As a character, Willy Wonka is uncommonly fragile, just genuinely succeeding when hes kept within the boundaries of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It meant that he ended up being, yuck, a mortal.Even Dahl didnt have much luck with Willy Wonka outside of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Picture: Landmark Media/Alamy Stock PhotoSo the thought of an entire movie that fastidiously explains what made Wonka has the prospective to be punishingly dull. Perhaps Wonka will copy the Joker formula and end up with Willy Wonka shooting Michael Aspel in the chest and leading a violent citywide insurgency.Oppressively bleak origin story … Joaquin Phoenix in Joker.

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