Timothée Chalamet playing Willy Wonka

If Tim Burton’s dive into the origins of Willy Wonka by way of flashbacks in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory wasn’t a satisfying enough tale for you, Warner Bros. Pictures and the Roald Dahl Story Co. are about to give you more.

Wonka is a new movie based on the iconic chcolatier previously played by Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp in two very different cinematic adaptations of Roald Dahl’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Now Oscar-nominated heartthrob Timothée Chalamet has been cast as the top hat-wearing candy man in the movie that will chronicle his adventures before he ever opened the chocolate factory that made him famous.

Deadline has news on Timothée Chalamet playing Willy Wonka in the new movie that will be directed by Paddington filmmaker Paul King, who finished the most recent draft of the script with Simon Farnaby. Previous writers who tackled the script include Simon Rich, Simon Stephenson, Jeff Nathanson, and Steven Levenson, but clearly King wanted it more attuned to his filmmaking sensibilities. Harry Potter franchise producer David Heyman will be producing through Heyday Films along with Luke Kelly, and Alexandra Derbyshire is serving as executive producer.

This will be entirely different from the first two movies based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, because they won’t be rehashing the familiar story of the five children who are tested as they tour Wonka’s grand candy factory. However, it will take some cues from those first two movies, because there are said to be several musical numbers throughout the film, marking the first time Chalamet has done any big singing and dancing on the big screen.

Chalamet became a rising talent after his turn in Call Me By Your Name, and he’s quickly become one of Hollywood’s hot young stars, both because of his good looks and his incredible talent. Though I believe Chalamet has the comedic sensibilities to pull off a role like this, I’m worried that his take on Wonka will skew more to the kind of character that Johnny Depp gave us rather than Gene Wilder, and I’m sure that’s what Warner Bros. is hoping for as well. Then again, maybe he’ll give us something somewhere in-between that surprises everyone.

Personally, I don’t think the origin story of Willy Wonka is one that needs to be told. He doesn’t seem like a character that easily lends himself to a franchise, and much of his appeal comes from the candy factory itself. But if anyone can make it work, it’s Paul King, who turned Paddington and its sequel into two of the loveliest films in recent memory.

Don’t forget, Netflix is working on two other projects based on Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka and the characters surrounding him. Taika Waititi is writing, directing and executive producing two animated shows for the streaming service, one based on the world and characters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the other focused squarely on the world of the Oompa-Loompas.

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