Yes, The Chocolates In Wonka Are Real, And Free Candy Was Handed Out On Set

It's fair to wonder just how "necessary" a movie like "Wonka" truly is. Billed as a prequel to the 1971 Mel Stuart-directed and Gene Wilder-starring classic "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," the upcoming film stars Timothée Chalamet in the title role of a story about discovering how, as the marketing puts it, "Willy became Wonka" ... which I can honestly say is a question that never once crossed my mind before. Still, at the very least, all my fellow sweet-tooths out there are guaranteed to get their fill of chocolatey goodness, which is apparently something that translated to the actual production of the film, as well.

We previously wrote about how the filming of "Wonka" required the presence of an actual, on-set chocolatier to help bring that extra layer of verisimilitude to the cast. However, as it so happens, that went further than we originally thought. Not only did A-listers like Chalamet get to enjoy the genuine article while eating on-screen, but the rest of the cast and crew — basically, whoever happened to be in the immediate vicinity of the cocoa professional — also got to eat their fill and (probably) rack up dental visits for all those pesky cavities. In the latest issue of Total Film, the magazine caught up with pastry chef and professional chocolatier Gabriella Cugno. Among the bite-sized tidbits about her experience on the set of "Wonka," she revealed that many got a chance to sample the goods:

"Whenever I'd make them, if I had some leftover filling, I'd just make some quick ones for the people I was surrounded by. But if there were any left over from set, we kept them just in case they had to reshoot something. But I'd always make sure that on set there was always some chocolate available for people to eat!"

Drowning in chocolate

Yes, yes, it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Gabriella Cugno was tasked with the rather challenging job of actually cooking up the chocolate showcased in the film, including one that gets a special shout-out in the official trailer for director Paul King's "Wonka" — the Hover-choc which, in an obvious homage to the Fizzy Lifting Drink from "Chocolate Factory," causes those who consume it to float. While the actual candy doesn't quite have that magical property (at least, we don't think so), Cugno explained to Total Film that the intricate design of this treat required some pretty hefty attention to detail and a lot of tireless work. As she put it:

"I made around 900 of those. And they're so intricate. These have to be the best chocolates ever. So for the Hover-choc, there were four different parts that made up the body and wings. There's two wings, and about 20 holes per Hover-choc, and about 30 tiny, little dots. In the holes, I painted them gold. So all of this really time-consuming, handmade detail is in 900 of these. Some other chocolates, I would only be able to make 30 because they take so long."

How long are we talking about, exactly? The chocolatier went on to detail one such moment when King asked her to make a particular bit of candy ... and she was only able to return two hours later, with a grand total of four chocolates. Filling the role of chocolatier on a major Hollywood production might seem like a glamorous title, but never forget that quite a lot of hard work went into every tasty treat that Wonka and other characters pop into their mouths.

"Wonka" is scheduled to release in theaters on December 15, 2023.