Timmy Wonka nation, rise up! After a year of behind-the-scenes pap shots and endless edits of Timmy dancing at his high school talent show, we’ve finally gotten our first look at Timothée Chalamet as a young Willy Wonka in the upcoming fantasy film Wonka. Warner Bros. released the film’s official trailer on July 11. The whimsical trailer puts Wonka in the running to be this year’s most feel-good movie, especially with its star-studded cast and adorable plot. Wonka promises to be a full-blown musical, and yes, Chalamet will be singing! I’ll be seated front row on opening night to watch Lil Timmy Tim’s triumphant return to the big screen.
Two other actors have taken on the role of Willy Wonka in the past: Gene Wilder played the beloved character in 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Johnny Depp played a more unhinged version of the candymaker in 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Wonka’s trailer makes it clear that Chalamet’s interpretation of the character follows Wilder’s footsteps more than Depp’s, and the film itself seems to be going for a much more upbeat, wholesome vibe than Tim Burton’s nightmarish 2005 adaptation. Here’s everything we know about Wonka so far.
What is Wonka about?
Wonka is based on Roald Dahl’s famous literary chocolatier, Willy Wonka, from his classic children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Wonka is a prequel to the book that explains how Willy Wonka rose to candy industry fame. The trailer shows an ambitious Wonka moving to a fantastical city to make his dream of opening a chocolate factory come true. To do so, he must gain approval from the Chocolate Cartel, the city’s highbrow group of chocolate makers. The movie’s message is inspirational, family-friendly, and applicable to all ages: If you can dream it, you can do it.
You’ll never guess who in the cast plays an Oompa Loompa.
Chalamet isn’t the only big-name star in this movie. The trailer reveals that the film includes performances by Olivia Colman, Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr. Bean), and Keegan-Michael Key. Relatively unknown actress Calah Lane plays a crucial (and as-of-yet unnamed) role in the film as Wonka’s assistant.
Personally, I’m most excited to see Hugh Grant’s cameo as an Oompa Loompa. Wonka’s director Paul King told The Hollywood Reporter that he sought Grant specifically for the role “because he’s the funniest, most sarcastic sh*t I’ve ever met.” His few seconds of screen time at the end of the trailer confirm that his performance is the most brilliant stroke of Oompa Loompa casting yet.
WONKA’S RELEASE DATE just made The 2023 holiday season warmer and fuzzier.
Wonka comes out on Dec. 15, just in time for you to sneak a tumbler of hot cocoa into the movie theater to get the full Willy Wonka experience. Make sure to reserve your golden ticket in advance — you won’t want to miss the childlike magic.