Scotching what could have been one of the most interesting castings in recent memory, the movie studio issued a flat denial that ghoul-rocker Manson would play the omnipotent figure of Willy Wonka in an upcoming adaptation of the classic children’s book, “Charlie & The Chocolate Factory.” The story is best known as the inspiration for the movie “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.”

The rumor took on legs when the New York Post reported January 31 that Manson would reprise the role originally played by Gene Wilder in the 1971 film version and quirky filmmaker Tim Burton would be in the director’s chair for the flick.

“Contrary to a false and misleading report published in the January 31 edition of the New York Post, singer Marilyn Manson has not been cast in a role in the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures film ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,'” Warner Bros. stated.

“Additionally, the director of the project is not Tim Burton, as falsely stated in the Post. Gary Ross (‘Pleasantville,’ ‘Dave,’ ‘Big’) is directing the film, currently in development at the studio, from a screenplay by Scott Frank (‘Out of Sight’), which he is adapting from the beloved Roald Dahl novel.”

After taking advantage of the unexpected publicity to plug the project a bit, Warner Bros. Pictures not only reiterated the denial, but left no doubt that Manson wouldn’t be getting a Golden Ticket to the silver screen anytime soon.

“Neither Gary Ross nor Warner nor Warner Bros. Pictures have any intention whatsoever of casting Marilyn Manson in the revered role of ‘Willy Wonka’ or any other role in the film.

“Warner Bros. Pictures has requested that the New York Post issue a retraction of this erroneous story immediately.”

It seems the Post isn’t exactly rushing to comply. A check of the tabloid’s Web site turned up no retraction, and the original story was still in the archives.

“I really see the movie as a metaphor,” Manson said in the Post story. “I see Willy Wonka as Satan because he presents people with the temptation of picking good and evil, and they all pick evil.”

The newspaper also says Manson just wants the public to give him a chance.

“The film will still have a beautiful message – our hero Charlie does a good, honest deed,” the paper quoted.