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Wonka: Timothée Chalamet treats us to a taste of the prequel to Roald Dahl’s classic story

We’ve just been treated to our first glimpse of Timothée Chalamet in the role of Willy Wonka, as the rising star posts costume photos on social media.

The internet is abuzz with excitement, and there’s no surprise as to why: Timothée Chalamet has just posted pictures of his Willy on social media! That is to say, pictures of him in costume as Willy Wonka, the eccentric chocolatier from Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book.

Dressed lavishly in a brown stovepipe hat, a purple jacket, and a patterned cravat, Timothée glances up moodily at the camera, perhaps in response to an Oompa Loompa asking for a pay rise. And let’s just say that if the chocolate factory ever runs out of blades to slice up the individual bars, Chalamet’s razor-sharp jaw line could be the ideal substitute.

The film, imaginatively entitled Wonka, will be a musical and is due for release on 17 March 2023. Chalamet’s co-stars will include Olivia Colman, Sally Hawkins, Keegan Michael-Key, and Rowan Atkinson. 

While this release is being produced by Warner Bros, the streaming service Netflix has recently acquired the rights to the works of Roald Dahl, so we can surely expect many more adaptations and spin-offs based on the works of the celebrated British children’s author in the years to come.

This prequel, which is principally being shot in the UK, forms part of a trend of producing backstories to well-known fictional characters, with recent examples including Maleficent (2014) and Cruella (2021) based on Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians respectively. But do such films generally flesh out underdeveloped characters, or is it best to leave some unexplained aspects to the imagination?

Gene Wilder’s unexpected somersault stunt in the 1971 film of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was added at the actor’s insistence, because he said “from that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.” There’s an argument that much of that mystique will be undermined by a movie that covers the character’s younger years.

Let us know in the poll below whether you’re looking forward to watching Wonka, or if you think the chocolate factory saga would be sweeter without a foretaste of what’s to come.



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