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Depp as Wonka Premature

Contrary to a report in DAILY VARIETY that Johnny Depp has been offered the coveted role of Willy Wonka in Tim Burton's upcoming film version of Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. said the studio is not even in negotiations with the actor and the script is still being rewritten. Stay tuned because Depp is still the leading contender to star in his third Burton film, following EDWARD SCISSORHANDS and ED WOOD, and has never been hotter after propelling Disney's blockbuster, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN.

Plan B partners Brad Grey, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston will serve as producers on the film, along with Michael Siegel, executor of the Dahl estate. Writer Pamela Pettler was brought in recently to spice up the script, which is with its third scribe after Scott Frank (MINORITY REPORT) and Gwyn Lurie (producer on VOICES FROM THE ATTIC) tackled the macabre tale. Pettler wrote THE CORPSE BRIDE, which is a stop-motion animated film being produced by Burton and directed by Mike Johnson out of Vinton Studios.

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