Will Johnny Depp reprise his role in prequel 'Wonka'? Fans ask Warner Bros to 'stop trying to erase' his work

Will Johnny Depp reprise his role in prequel 'Wonka'? Fans ask Warner Bros to 'stop trying to erase' his work
Johnny Depp attends the 'Crock of Gold: A few Rounds with Shane McGowan' premiere during the 16th Zurich Film Festival at Kino Corso on October 02, 2020, in Zurich, Switzerland (Getty Images)

Warner Bros. has set a date for a ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ prequel titled ‘Wonka’, an origin story focusing on the storied chocolate factory owner. As per Variety, ‘Wonka’ has been in development for years, but recently started to pick up steam again. 

As per The Hollywood Reporter, ‘Wonka’ will hit theaters on March 17, 2023. The film will be directed by Paul King of ‘Paddington’ fame. David Heyman, whose resume includes the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise, is producing the film, based on a script by Simon Rich. The studio, as per THR, said that the film will focus on "a young Willy Wonka and his adventures prior to opening the world’s most famous chocolate factory."

Warner Bros. will likely begin casting the film soon. This begs the question, will we see Johnny Depp back in the film? While Gene Wilder made Willy Wonka a pop-culturally iconic character in 1971’s ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’, Depp played his part in the reimagination of the Roald Dahl character in the Tim Burton-led 2005 reboot.

Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, and David Kelly in 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'. (IMDb)

But given the fact that the film will be focussing on a much-younger Wonka, it is unlikely that Depp will reprise the role. As per a 2018 report on Collider, Ryan Gosling, Donald Glover, and Ezra Miller were being eyed to star in the film. But a newer report on the entertainment news website says that as per sources, Warners Bros. now has its eye on either Tom Holland or Timothée Chalamet to play the eccentric character’s role. 

But even if that were not the case, there are other reasons for Depp to not be cast in the Warner Bros. film. In November 2020, Depp, in a statement, said, “In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement. Firstly, I’d like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days. Secondly, I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindewald in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and I have respected and agreed to that request. Finally, I wish to say this. The surreal judgment of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal.”

Actors Amber Heard (L) and Johnny Depp attend the "Black Mass" premiere during the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival at The Elgin on September 14, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Getty Images)

This came after London High Court judge Andrew Nicol said in November 2020 that he accepted claims from Amber Heard that Depp had violently assaulted her during their tempestuous five-year relationship in Depp’s libel suit against the publishers of The Sun. “I have found that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms. Heard by Mr. Depp have been proved to the civil standard,” said Nicol. “The claimant has not succeeded in his action for libel.”

Fans of Depp, of course, are not happy about the prospects of Depp no longer playing Wonka’s role in the film. One fan wrote, “Y’all know that without Johnny Depp as Wonka no one’s gonna watch it.” Another fan asked Disney and Warner Bros. to “stop trying to erase Johnny Depp's work by hiring other actors to play his roles.”





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