Johnny Depp is out. Either Donald Glover, Ryan Gosling, or Ezra Miller are in. Warner Bros. has reportedly compiled a short list of actors to play Willy Wonka in an upcoming prequel aimed at exploring the origins of the creepy candy mogul. The only issue: the studio can’t decide which actor to cast.
So far, Glover has been the clear frontrunner online and the choice makes a lot of sense. He is brilliant, hilarious, and a slightly mysterious star (on the rise) who did a phenomenal job playing a young Lando Calrissian in Solo. Plus, he can obviously sing.
But the Internet isn’t in charge of casting decisions ⏤ if it was, Idris Elba would be filming his third James Bond movie right now⏤ so it’s hard to say who is really the favorite to land the role. Honestly, though, all three are pretty great actors and seem like they would bring their own distinct energy to the role.
As of now, little is known about the film beyond these rumors. There is no set release date or real details about the plot. Paul King, the writer and director of the Paddington franchise, has been hired as the film’s director, while Simon Rich, who worked on Inside Out, is writing the script.
Whoever lands the role will obviously have some massive shoes to fill, as Gene Wilder’s performance as the titular candy man in Willy Wonka in the Chocolate Factory is widely (and rightfully) regarded as iconic. Depp’s attempt to revive the role in the 2005 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fell entirely flat, as his creepy performance lacked the mischief and allure that makes the character so beloved.
Hopefully, whichever actor gets to take on the Wonka mantle next will follow the path of Wilder instead of Depp and deliver an entertaining and unique take on the Internet’s favorite smug asshole.