Most Prequels Suck, Will Wonka Be Any Different?

The original Charlie & The Chocolate Factory in the 1970s in film, based on the Roald Dahl novel, gave us enough backstory on the eccentric owner Wonka.

At least I thought it did.

Apparently Warner Bros. thinks otherwise and has commissioned a prequel.

Warner Bros will be releasing Wonka on March 17, 2023, a prequel to Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that focuses on the candy architect Willy Wonka’s younger days before having his confection empire. The movie has been in development for about four years.

‘Wonka’: Warner Bros Sets 2023 Release Of ‘Willy Wonka’ Prequel – Deadline

I’m straining to think of any prequel movies that have been very good. Silence of The Lambs didn’t need the prequel. Star Wars didn’t need the prequel trilogy. Solo? Did we need it to learn more about Han Solo? No. The list goes on.

My problem with prequels is we know what happens. We know Han Solo becomes the smuggler in the Millenium Falcon traveling around with Chewbacca. How he became that smuggler is of dubious interest.

Do we really need to know more about how Willy Wonka became Wonka? How he got all twisted and warped? How he came upon the Oompa Loompas? We know some of that already — especially those who have read the novel — but do we need a movie to explore that in greater depth?

I can see why the Wonka project has been languishing in pre-production. It’s not the kind of story that you immediately think: I need to see more on Willy Wonka’s childhood!

Would rather see the sequel than the prequel — and Roald Dahl wrote one, by the way. It wasn’t as good as the first, like most sequels, but that seems like moving the story forward in potentially surprising ways. Prequels go backwards and in prose and on film, going backwards can be very boring.

Nevermind me, though, what do you think? How excited about a Wonka prequel movie are you?

6 thoughts on “Most Prequels Suck, Will Wonka Be Any Different?

    1. Comic book characters are an outlier. Good point.

      There are tons of comic book stories that predate the movies, so they are something of a special case for prequels. They also do alternate, parallel and paradox plotlines. Not saying that’s a lone exception, but it’s one where the creators of prequels can get away with it more creatively than in other types of stories.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s like they feel the need to explain everything in the prequels. Like, in The Phantom Menace, George Lucas came up with all that midi-chlorian crap instead of just letting it be a mystical Force. They’re probably going to do the same thing with Wonka. Like you said explaining the Oompa Loompas and other things. I just hate that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Soooo agree!

      The Oompa Loopas were great because they were somewhat odd and mysterious. Who are these little people roaming around making chocolate and singing cool little rhyming tunes? Once we explain their origins, argh, it just ruins the imagination.

      Part of the fun of anything is making the viewer think and use his/her imagination. The really great stories do that. Miracle on 34th Street, was he really Santa Claus?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Personally, not on board at all. Why can’t they just leave some things unanswered or up to interpretation? Hollywood is so trite nowadays, as I’ve said, and I hate it. If it ain’t broke, don’t f***ing fix it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, they could end up tarnishing the original movie by ruining what was covered by our imagination — and, perhaps worse, changing Roald Dahl’s original vision so they can make it more “timely” or “socially relevant” … sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

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