Timothée Chalamet transforms into Willy Wonka for a “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” prequel, “Wonka,” and like the chocolate he concocts in this first trailer, it will make you fly.
The first trailer for the musical debuted during 2023 CinemaCon (though it hasn’t been released online yet), presented by Warner Bros. Discovery, and the crowd gobbled it up like a Wonka bar, particularly the reveal of Hugh Grant as an Oompa Loompa in a jar, dancing and all.
Chalamet called that first look at Grant “a trip,” and he also stressed that this prequel is about “a Willy that’s full of joy and optimism and hopes to become the greatest chocolatier of all time,” not quite like Gene Wilder’s more cynical version of the Roald Dahl character.
Oscar nominee Chalamet leads the origin story produced in part by the Roald Dahl Company. A prequel to the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder, “Wonka” focuses on a young Willy Wonka before opening his famed elusive chocolate factory. Paul King (“Paddington”) directs the film from a screenplay he co-wrote with “Paddington 2” collaborator Simon Farnaby.
Beyond the Oompa Loompa reveal, the trailer gave a hint of more of the film’s story, which sees Wonka challenging a stuffy “chocolate cartel” that refuses to give him a chocolate shop or allow him to break into the game. He teams with a young girl who helps him realize his vision, and the film looks like a colorful and effects-filled delight.
Olivia Colman, Keegan-Michael Key, Sally Hawkins, Matt Lucas, Rowan Atkinson, Natasha Rothwell, Rufus Jones, and Simon Farnaby star alongside Chalamet.
David Heyman is producing via his Heyday Films, while Luke Kelly is also producing alongside executive producers Michael Siegel and Alexandra Derbyshire.
Chalamet’s turn marks the first origin story for the beloved novel adaptation, following the 2005 version of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp in the lead role. Chalamet sings and dances in the musical.
Chalamet is also confirmed to be singing onscreen in James Mangold’s upcoming Bob Dylan biopic “A Complete Unknown.”