Living legend Gene Wilder hasn’t acted onscreen since an Emmy-winning guest role on Will & Grace in 2003, and in 2008 publicly announced his retirement. At the time,Wilder said he’d be willing to return for Mel Brooks, but otherwise it’d probably take something huge to get him to perform again.
Rumor has it today that Steven Spielberg is trying to coax Wilder back in front of cameras for one of his upcoming projects — The BFG, Ready Player One or something else entirely.
AICN originally reported the Steven Spielberg/Gene Wilder rumor. According to their sources, “meetings will be or already have taken place”. Still unclear is which project Spielberg wants Wilder for, as there are two on his plate that seem suitable for Wilder.
Their source suggests The BFG, based on the book by Roald Dahl. The film has already wrapped production and is set for a summer 2016 release, but it’s not too late for Wilder to contribute a voice role. Mark Rylance is cast as the titular giant.
However, the director is currently preparing the Ernest Cline adaptation Ready Player One, due out in late 2017. The marketing for Cline’s novel claims that the book is Willy Wonka meets The Matrix.
Specifically, fans of the book suggest he’d be perfect for the role of James Halliday, a virtual reality universe creator whose will promises his massive empire to the gamer who discovers a certain Easter egg. (For the record, we think Ready Player One sounds like an awful hybrid of Tron and Wreck-It Ralph).