Candy is dandy! Fictional chocolatier Willy Wonka was first immortalized on screen by the late Gene Wilder in 1971, but his interpretation of the Roald Dahl character would not be the last.
In 2005, Johnny Depp donned the top hat in Tim Burton‘s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and soon, Timothée Chalamet will take up the velvet coat in a new prequel film simply titled Wonka.
Announced in May 2021, the new film is set to follow the eccentric candymaker in the early days before he became the world-renowned entrepreneur known for hiding golden tickets in chocolate bars. The Depp version included some flashbacks to Wonka’s early life, but the new movie will seemingly focus entirely on the events before Charlie Bucket and company’s dramatic factory visit.
Chalamet shared the first look at the new film in October 2021 when he posted an Instagram photo of himself in costume as Wonka. “The suspense is terrible,” the Beautiful Boy star captioned the image, referencing a line from Wilder’s version of the movie. “I hope it will last.”
Though initial reactions to the announcement of Wonka were mixed, public sentiment seemed to improve a bit after the Oscar nominee’s post. “OH MY GOD,” commented Kiernan Shipka. “Absolutely,” added Zendaya, Chalamet’s costar in Dune. Non-celebrity fans were thrilled too, with one follower writing, “I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO EXCITED FOR ANYTHING.”
After the Little Women actor appeared in Wonka’s signature top hat and coat, it became hard for fans to imagine anyone else in the role, but director Paul King considered several other actors before Chalamet landed the part. When development of the film began in 2018, the studio was reportedly considering Donald Glover, Ryan Gosling, Ezra Miller and Tom Holland.
Few other details about the movie have been released, but the talent behind the camera is promising. Director King previously helmed the beloved Paddington and Paddington 2, and producer David Heyman is best know for his work on the Harry Potter movies. Costume designer Lindy Hemming, meanwhile, won an Oscar in 1999 for her work on Topsy-Turvy, and she’s since worked on the Dark Knight trilogy and Wonder Woman.
The movie’s cinematographer, Seamus McGarvey, earned Oscar nods for his work on Atonement and Anna Karenina, and screenwriter Simon Farnaby previously worked with King on Paddington 2. Production designer Nathan Crowley also has six Oscar nominations on his resume, for films including Tenet, Dunkirk and First Man.
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