Timothée Chalamet doesn’t just look like a snack. He also has a voice smoother than chocolate.
That is what Paul King, director of Wonka, told Total Film Magazine. Chalamet, 27, portrays the titular character in the upcoming Willy Wonka prequel, and while the film is not a musical per se, the Dune actor gets a song or two. He’s quite the crooner, as King said, “[Chalamet]’s got a beautiful singing voice.”
“The person [Chalamet’s voice] reminded me of was Bing Crosby,” added the director. “There’s quite a range because it does go from a couple of bigger, showstopper-y sort of things, to moments of real, pure emotion and he can do it all… I’m going to sound like a crazed fan.”
Bing Crosby – who passed away in 1977 at age 74 — is best known as a singer, actor and media personality. His distinct baritone, use of jazz phrasing and early adaptation of the microphone’s intimacy helped him become one of the most successful crooners of all time. He’s probably best known for his version of “White Christmas.” It’s credited with being the best-selling physical single of all time, per the Guinness Book of World Records.
Wonka will introduce the world to Chalemet’s singing skills without being a straightforward musical. “The Oompa Loompas sing a lot in the book,” King told Total Film Magazine, and “[Willy Wonka author Roald] Dahl always uses poetry. But I didn’t want it to just become a musical where people are singing dialogue to each other for no discernible reason. I felt like it was more like a movie with songs than a musical.”
Wonka will also feature Sally Hawkins, Olivia Colman and Rowan Atkinson. Hugh Grant appears in the film as an Oompa-Loompa, meaning that the Notting Hill star will likely show off his singing voice, too.
Wonka may not be the only time that Chalamet sings in a movie. In November 2022, he clarified that the Bob Dylan biopic Going Electric was still a go despite online rumors that the project was dead. “I haven’t stopped preparing, which has been one of the greatest gifts for me,” Chalamet, who will portray the music icon, told Variety. “It’s been a wonderful experience getting to dive into that world, whether we get to make it or not. But without giving anything away — because I don’t want to beat anyone to the punch, and obviously, things have to come together officially — the winds that are blowing are blowing in a very positive direction.”