Oompa-Loompas, explosive chocolate factories, and Timothée Chalamet flying through the air can only mean one thing: the first trailer for the new Willy Wonka prequel movie, Wonka, has arrived ahead of its December release.
The preview for Wonka, a movie technically derived from Roald Dahl’s 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but rooted in Warner Bros.’ 1971 classic starring Gene Wilder (likely because Netflix now owns the Dahl library), highlights some of the prequel’s strangest features and stacked cast, which includes Keegan-Michael Key, Matt Lucas, Sally Hawkins, Olivia Colman, and Mr. Bean himself, Rowan Atkinson. Also, Hugh Grant is an Oompa-Loompa. It’s quite something.
The movie musical is directed by Paul King (Paddington) and it looks like it: there’s a level of earnestness that most filmmakers couldn’t get away with unless their star was a CG bear. Chalamet, swapping chocolate for marmalade, is certainly going for it. His take on Wonka isn’t as eccentric as Johnny Depp’s in the Tim Burton remake from 2005, but also isn’t in line with the stoic, emotional characters that litter his filmography. He’s prancing, he’s dancing, he’s exclaiming things with whimsy. He will attempt to make this all seem cool — and maybe succeed?
In 2002, Chalamet shared to British Vogue some career advice he got from none other than Leonardo Dicaprio: “No hard drugs and no superhero movies.” But he said Wonka passed the sniff test. This is the movie he was desperate to make.
“I hate to say it, but the dream as an artist is to throw whatever the fuck you want at the wall,” he said at the time. :And I guess what I’m realizing is that one’s personal life, one’s adult life, can be quite boring and the artist’s life can still be extraordinary.”
But will Grant steal Chalamet’s spotlight? He busts out the dance moves in the trailer and gets the final word! Maybe this is a “no matter who wins, we win” situation (unlike Alien vs. Predator). We’ll find out of Chalamet can come out on top when Wonka hits theaters on Dec. 15.