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New Willy Wonka Movie in the Works Nearly Two Months After Gene Wilder's Death

The search is on for the golden ticket yet again.

E! News can confirm Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to the Willy Wonka IP from the Roald Dahl Estate and is beginning to plan a new movie centered around the unforgettable character.

According to Variety, who first reported the news, the studio has been trying to lock down rights since the beginning of the year. Ultimately, they were able to close a deal this fall.

Roald penned two books in which Willy Wonka appeared including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. He ultimately never wrote anything specifically on the Willy Wonka character.

As movie fans know, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has already been adapted into two feature films including a 2005 version that was directed by Tim Burton and starred Johnny Depp. The original, however, starred Gene Wilder who passed away on August 28.

“He had been in The Producers, but he wasn’t a superstar. I looked at him and I knew in my heart there could only be one person who could play Willy Wonka,” director Mel Stuart shared with The Washington Post in 2005. “He walked to the elevator after he read and I ran after him and I said, ‘As far as I’m concerned, you’ve got it.'”

Sources tell Variety that the upcoming film will not be an origin tale, but a standalone movie focused on Willy Wonka and his early adventures.

Harry Potter producer David Heyman will help produce the film while The Secret Life of Pets writer Simon Rich will work on the script.

A release date and any cast members have yet to be announced. 

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