Despite not appearing in very many films over the years - only two! - Willy Wonka remains one of the most iconic and recognizable characters in cinema history. Ever since Gene Wilder led us into a world of pure imagination, the idea of a land where the impossible is both possible and incredibly tasty is endlessly enchanting, which is why Warner Bros. is giving us more of the character in the upcoming prequel, Wonka, which features a suitably enchanting cast.
Rather than serving as a prequel to either 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Wonka is meant to set up the events of the 1962 Roland Dahl book both those movies are based on. This means that the Wonka you see here could be very different from the portrayals you’ve seen before.
Wonka serves as the chocolatier’s origin story, telling how the aspiring sweet-maker met the Oompa Loompas and how he became the eccentric oddity that has become such a big part of popular culture. The cast is led by Timothée Chalamet, who steps out of the deserts of Dune and into the purple top hat as a younger and more idealistic version of the character, but he is joined in the cast by several memorable names.
The full cast list for Wonka is:
- Timothée Chalamet as Willy Wonka
- Calah Lane as Noodle
- Keegan-Michael Key as the Chief of Police
- Paterson Joseph as Arthur Slugworth
- Matt Lucas as Prodnose
- Mathew Baynton as Ficklegruber
- Sally Hawkins as Willy Wonka’s mother
- Rowan Atkinson as Father Julius
- Jim Carter as Abacus Crunch
- Tom Davis as Bleacher
- Olivia Colman as Mrs. Scrubbit
- Hugh Grant as an Oompa Loompa
- Natasha Rothwell as Piper Benz
- Rich Fulcher as Larry Chucklesworth
- Rakhee Thakrar as Lottie Bell
- Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
- Simon Farnaby
- Colin O’Brien
- Ellie White
- Murray McArther
- Tracy Ifeachor
- Isy Suttie
Wonka is directed by Paul King and is due to be released on 15 December in the US.
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