Gene Wilder has stayed retired since his last cameo appearance on Will & Grace in 2003. (A pair of A&E mystery movies aside, Wilder’s last big screen appearance was 1991’s Another You.) But now, according to Consequence Of Sound, Steven Spielberg is reportedly trying to sway Wilder to come out of retirement for one of his upcoming projects; one theory is that he would be contributing voice work to Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG. If true, it would be a reprise of sorts, as Wilder’s starring turn in 1971’s Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory made him synonymous with that Dahl character (despite Johnny Depp’s best, strangest efforts).
Seeing as this is all speculation, and Spielberg has numerous projects in the pipeline, he might be trying to pique Wilder’s interest in a different project entirely. Spielberg is attached to direct the virtual adventure Ready Player One, and Wilder could play James Halliday, the Wonka-like creator of OASIS. Of course, there’s also the on-hiatus Robopocalypse, where the veteran screen star could lend his theatrical manner to an entire army of robots, upstaging James Spader’s bot army in Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Then there’s Micro, based on Michael Crichton’s posthumously published novel that follows the adventures of a group of graduate students shrunk by a bad-guy billionaire; we’ve seen Wilder play a scientist who lets his creations get the better of him before. Perhaps most tantalizing of all, Wilder could don a bicorne and jam his hand into his waistcoat for Spielberg’s Napoleon miniseries. Admittedly, we’d prefer a miniseries about Wilder as an octogenarian with Napoleonic delusions of grandeur, but at this rate, we’ll settle for voiceover work in The BFG.