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Timothée Chalamet is playing a young Willy Wonka

Paddington director will tackle Willy Wonka’s origin story

Timothée Chalamet as Laurie in 2019’s Little Women Photo: Wilson Webb/Sony Pictures
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

Call Me By Your Name and Little Women star Timothée Chalamet has been tapped to play a young Willy Wonka in a Warner Bros. origin story film, Deadline reported Monday.

Willy Wonka is the owner of the chocolate factory in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Wonka is an eccentric man who invites five children to his mysterious factory for a tour in order to decide which of them will inherit his fortune. All of them are eliminated from contention because of deep character flaws, except for wide-eyed hero Charlie Bucket.

The prequel will follow the chocolatier’s adventures prior to opening his candy factory, because sure, great to touch on how Wonka exploited the Oompa Loompas by “liberating” them. This will be the third time someone has portrayed Willy Wonka on screen, though no one can hold a candle to Gene Wilder’s unsettlingly bizarre performance in 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, so I don’t even know why we’re trying.

Johnny Depp portrayed Wonka in a Tim Burton adaptation (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) in 2005, to mixed results. Will young heartthrob Timothée Chalamet capture the terrifying whimsy of Willy Wonka? Word’s out on that, but one thing’s for sure: Tumblr is going to go absolutely wild for a slender, messy-haired fantasy capitalist icon in a dapper suit. Get ready for legions of Willy Wonka stans taking over the internet.

The Willy Wonka origin story will be directed by Paul King, director of Paddington and Paddington 2, a positive sign for the prequel. There are no further plot details, except for the fact Charlie will likely not be in this movie.

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