Nobody Needs To Know How Willy Wonka Came To Be
I’m the last person to tell studios to stop making creative but potentially bad movies. I can watch two squirrels fight over a single Cheeto and appreciate it for the compelling narrative. So please listen to me when I beg of you, for the love of God and little baby Jesus, don’t make a Willy Wonka prequel.
Ryan Gosling is considering the role of Willy Wonka in a prequel that might be, ugh, an origin story. Ugh. UGH. I’m ughing so hard that my throat might prolapse. Listen, Gosling, you poor man’s version of a gold-plated Gosling, I may never forgive you if you pursue this role. I might take down that life-sized cutout of you I’ve placed on my vision board. So consider this wisely.
Nobody cares about Willy Wonka’s backstory. Not a single one of us has wondered, “Gosh, what would inspire someone to build a magical chocolate factory? What kind of checkered history and difficult childhood would lead one to such an odd occupation?” Any regular Joe-dingus with a boring past would run an enchanted candy factory if given the opportunity. We don’t need a justification for building a giant facility full of whimsy and rivers of chocolate and lickable walls. That is the dream we all strive for but can never reach, leaving us feeling spiritually and sexually unfulfilled.
You don’t have to take every beloved childhood character and explore their origins. Nobody goes, “Gee, that Very Hungry Caterpillar sure is hungry. How did he get so hungry? What childhood trauma caused him to be so hungry? What were his decisions leading up to his current state of being very, very hungry?” No. He’s hungry, and he’s a caterpillar. I’m okay with that. I’m satisfied.
Also, you Hollywood assholes already tried this. Remember that 2005 version of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, in which Johnny Depp pretended to be a sex offender? Remember how you gave him a tragic past of having a dentist for a father who never let him eat candy, as if we somehow questioned why someone might end up really liking candy, a food so delicious that even stupid ants like it? Do you remember how much we hated you for that? Do you think we’re too dumb to notice you doing it again? Are you a bunch of predatory worm creatures in harvested human skin suits trying to baffle us into extinction? Well, are you?
By making Wonka’s backstory, you’re basically heading into The Grinch territory. And that was a movie that made Dr. Seuss spin so fast in his grave that he’s become an gyroscopically immovable force. “Why is the Grinch so grinchy?” nobody asked. Hollywood answered, “Because he was teased in school.” Oh gee, thanks. Thanks for clearing that up. I couldn’t possibly use my imagination to conjure reasons for someone to grow up to be grouchy. No, I couldn’t focus on the movie until that burning question was answered. When Dr. Seuss originally introduced the Grinch without explanation, I screamed, “WHY, THOUGH? WHY IS HE SUCH A GRINCH? WILL NO ONE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME? MUST I GO TO MY DEATH WITHOUT EVER KNOWING HOW THE GRINCH BECAME SUCH A GRINCH?” I’m kidding. I did none of that, because I’m not a total moron. God.
I’m sorry I got so upset about this, unnamed movie execs. I just really, really don’t want you to make a Willy Wonka origin story. See, when I was a child, my father made me watch unnecessary prequels. “You’ll watch them and you’ll like them,” he said, while using an eyedropper to keep my taped-open eyes hydrated. I watched hundreds of superfluous origin stories, until something in me snapped. And that is the day that I became Antiprequelle, a hero dedicated to hunting down stupid prequels and- oh god I’ve created a paradox.
Katie Goldin is trapped in some kind of freaky contradiction dimension. You can still contact her through Twitter.
Hey, Cracked Podcast fans: Join Alex Schmidt, Daniel O’Brien, Katie Goldin, and our favorite LA comedians for a deep dive into which animals could conquer the world if they tried. Get your tickets here.
Also follow us on Facebook, no ticket required.