Date: 21st August 2003

Depp: Will he Wonka?

Johnny Depp has reportedly been offered the role of Willy Wonka in a new film.

It's believed he's been offered the part by director Tim Burton and if he accepts, shooting would begin next year.

The film will be the second based on the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. The 1971 version starred Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka.

The new film is to be produced by Warner Bros and Plan B, the production company whose partners include Brad Pitt and wife Jennifer Aniston, BBC Online quotes Variety magazine as reporting.

If Depp accepts, it will be the fourth film he's made with Burton, after Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and Sleepy Hollow.

The story is about a reclusive chocolate manufacturer who opens his mysterious factory to the winners of golden tickets secreted in a handful of his chocolate bars. One of them is won by Charlie, a poor boy who lives with his parents and grandparents.

Earlier reports had suggested Marilyn Manson would play Willy Wonka in Burton's version of the film.

Depp, 40, has already had one of the biggest hits of the summer with the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean, which has topped the film charts in both the UK and the US.

He has also recently made the films J.M Barrie's Neverland and Secret Window, Secret Garden.

Source: Press Release