Timothée Chalamet Will Star in a Willy Wonka Origin Movie

Paul Atreides is your Wonka now. Deadline reports that Timothée Chalamet, known for every recent movie that calls for a twentysomething man with dark hair and cheekbones (including the one pictured above), will star in a film that explores Willy Wonka’s life before he opened his iconic chocolate factory. The film will be somewhat anticlimactically titled: Wonka.

Though the film comes from Warner Bros and the Roald Dahl Story Co., it’s not specifically based on either of Dahl’s books about Wonka, but simply on his characters—meaning the writers can play fast and loose with Wonka’s history. A host of writers have been involved (including Steven Levenson, Jeff Nathanson, Simon Rich, Simon Stephenson), but the current version is co-written by Simon Farnaby and director Paul King (Paddington 2).

This is the third time a version of Willy Wonka will appear onscreen, after Gene Wilder’s iconic turn in 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Johnny Depp’s somewhat less iconic crack at the character in 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Needless to say, Charlie will not appear in the Chalamet film, as he wouldn’t be born yet.)

It’s also not the only Wonka tale in the works. Last year Netflix announced that Taika Waititi would be writing, directing, and executive producing two animated Wonka stories for the streamer. One is, rather vaguely, “based on the world and characters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” while the other is said to be a “wholly original” take on the Oompa Loompas. Both are part of Netflix’s would-be Roald Dahl cinematic universe: In 2018 it was announced Netflix would adapt or expand on quite a list of Dahl titles.

No further casting or production timeline has been announced for Wonka. Intriguingly, Deadline notes that scheduling for the film has been a headache, as Chalamet needs to get in some serious training for his song and dance numbers.


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