2023 is shaping up to be the year of Timothée Chalamet, with the young actor set to release two of the highest profile films of his career. While many cinephiles are eagerly awaiting the release of “Dune: Part II,” the Oscar nominee is also playing the titular role in “Wonka,” Paul King’s prequel to “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
The plot of “Wonka” has largely remained a mystery (although Chalamet shared a photo of himself in costume), but we know the film also stars Olivia Colman, Keegan-Michael Key, Sally Hawkins, Matt Lucas, Rowan Atkinson, Natasha Rothwell, Rufus Jones, and Simon Farnaby.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Keegan-Michael Key offered some new details on the film, revealing that Chalamet performs seven songs in the musical.
“He has seven musical numbers and I have two, one of them is a group number and another is a smaller group number,” he said. “I would agree with all the adjectives Timothée used, and I would also like to add the words ‘wondrous’ and ‘a little bit epic.’ It’s a nice, big, full, beautiful piece of art and Paul King, who directed it, is a delightful human being who has this wonderful, childlike heart. He was the perfect person to direct the project.”
Chalamet will be the third significant actor to play Willy Wonka on screen, following in the footsteps of Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp. But his co-stars seem to think he lived up to expectations. Key praised the young actor for carrying the film with his charisma and screen presence.
“There’s this wonderful effortlessness about how he plays Wonka, not to mention the fact that there’s this hopeful quality that he gives the character, a kind of indomitable quality that he’ll never quit, he’s always up for the next thing. He’s like, ‘OK, that didn’t work out? We’ll do this and we’ll try something else,’” he said. “And Timothée Chalamet, what can I say? Sacrébleu! This kid, you know, he drips charisma and a wonderful confidence. He’s just a really delicious artist.”
“Wonka” is set to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures on March 17, 2023.