Timothée Chalamet Is the Latest Actor to Step Into the Role of Willy Wonka

Look, I’m going to be pretty brutal here and say that I’ve not yet recovered from the waking nightmare that was Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — and that is coming from someone who has an almost unhealthy love of the eccentric filmmaker.

So, having heard that yet another imagining of the Roald Dahl novel is in the works, I was filled with a strange mix of both optimism that it will cleanse our palettes of the bad taste left by the 2005 version starring Johnny Depp, and fear that it will make things much, much worse.

The thing that gives me hope for the former is that the new version, titled Wonka, will star Timothée Chalamet as the beloved candymaker. Correct me if I’m wrong, but he just seems like the perfect choice to carry the torch of the incomparable Gene Wilder who starred in the 1971 iteration.

According to Variety, “plot details have been kept under wraps, but the Warner Bros. prequel film will explore the upbringing of the man who later created the famous house of confectionary treats. Reps for Chalamet confirm he will be singing and dancing in the movie.”

Dahl’s 1964 book tells the story of Charlie Buckett, a poor young boy who wins the chance of a lifetime; a golden ticket to visit Willy Wonka’s famed chocolate factory with his Grandpa Joe (who miraculously rediscovers his ability to walk after being bedridden and requiring round the clock care from his family, but don’t get me started on that.) At any rate, Charlie and old “infirm-when-it-suits-him” Joe won’t be featured in Wonka so I guess that settles that.

Paul King — who brought us the Paddington films — will be directing the new movie, with David Heyman producing and Simon Rich penning the script. Production is expected to begin in September, with a theatrical release date scheduled for March 17, 2023.

Chalamet — who shot to fame and acclaim in 2017’s Call Me By Your Name (not to be confused with the Lil Nas X song and, also, apologies for the rhyme) — can next be seen in Denis Villeneuve’s epic – and delayed- Dune adaptation, Wes Anderson’s comedic drama The French Dispatch, and Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up. Adding to his repertoire of playing unique and beloved characters, he has also signed on to portray Bob Dylan in the upcoming biopic Going Electric.

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