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Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins and Olivia Colman star alongside Timothee Chalamet in Warner Bros. ‘ ‘Wonka’.
Wonka, the next prequel to Warner Bros. Pictures to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, officially started filming. Timothée Chalamet (Dune, Call Me By Your Name) plays a young Willy Wonka in the film directed by Paul King (Paddington films). Although this is a new version of the source material, it is based on the original story of Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Wonka’s full cast has also been revealed. Alongside Timothée Chalamet as Willy, Wonka stars Rowan Atkinson (Johnny English, Mr. Bean), Mathew Baynton (The Wrong Mans, Ghosts), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman ( The Favorite), Tom Davis (Paddington 2, King Gary), Simon Farnaby (Paddington movies, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Rich Fulcher (Marriage Story), Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water, Paddington movies, Spencer), Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Paddington 2, Zack Snyder’s Justice League), Paterson Joseph (Vigil), Keegan-Michael Key (Schmigadoon), Emmy and Peabody Award winner (Schmigadoon), Calah Lane (The Day Shall Come), Matt Lucas (Paddington, Little Britain), Colin O’Brien (The Mothership), Natasha Rothwell (White Lotus, Insecure), Rakhee Thakrar (Sex Education) and Ellie White (The Other One).
According to Wonka’s official journal, “Chalamet directs a star-studded ensemble in an origin story that explores the mythical and living beginnings of the imaginative young inventor before he became the famous Mozart of chocolate.” In other words, it’s a prequel story about Willy Wonka’s transformation from an ordinary young man with a sweet tooth into the world’s most famous – and eccentric – candy maker.
Paul King is directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with Paddington 2 co-writer Simon Farnaby (with previous writers including Simon Rich, Simon Stephenson, Jeff Nathanson and Steven Levenson). Michael Siegel and Rosie Alison are executive producers. King’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes Oscar-nominated cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, Oscar-nominated production designer Nathan Crowley, editor Mark Everson and Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming. Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy writes original songs for the film.
Oscar nominated producer David Heyman (Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood), who worked on the Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Paddington films, has joined the cast. Wonka is produced by Luke Kelly, who produced Roald Dahl’s recent adaptation of The Witches as well as upcoming Matilda, and Alexandra Derbyshire, who produced the Paddington films and the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion.
Willy Wonka was played by Gene Wilder in the original film adaptation, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which was released in 1971. The film is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of cinema of all time, with numerous fans recently returned to watch it on its 50th anniversary. In 2005, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Johnny Depp played a new Willy Wonka. Wilder and Depp both have fans who prefer their sides of the story. It remains to be seen where Timothée Chalamet fits in once Wonka joins the fray.
Wonka is currently touring in the UK. The film will hit theaters on March 17, 2023 and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.