The first trailer for Wonka, a prequel to Roald Dahl’s beloved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, has given us a look at the Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet in the lead role.
The Dune and Call Me By Your Name actor stars as a young version of Willy Wonka, the eccentric chocolate mogul, before he opens his factory, having spent “seven years travelling the world perfecting” his craft. The film also stars Hugh Grant as a CGI Oompa Loompa with Olivia Colman, Sally Hawkins, Rowan Atkinson and Keegan-Michael Key filling out the cast.
“To work on something that will have an uncynical young audience, that was just a big joy,” Chalamet told Vogue in May. “That’s why I was drawn to it. In a time and climate of intense political rhetoric, when there’s so much bad news all the time, this is hopefully going to be a piece of chocolate.”
The director Paul King, who was also behind the two Paddington movies, has already heaped praise on Chalamet’s performance.
“I think what’s so remarkable about his performance is not only that he is funny and mischievous and quite mysterious, as well – just like the Willy Wonka that people will know – but also, he brings such heart to the role and he’s a brilliant actor,” King said to People. “He’s incredibly emotionally intelligent and can bring a great deal of emotional truth to the role.”
King also said the film is a way of celebrating “old-time musicals” with “a couple of really big numbers”.
The character of Willy Wonka has previously been played by Gene Wilder in the 1971 movie and by Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s 2005 revision. The film follows an adaptation of Matilda released in 2022 and precedes a wave of new Dahl properties to be released on Netflix after the streamer struck a major deal with the author’s estate in 2021 with Taika Waititi and Wes Anderson attached to the first releases.
2023 is set to be the biggest in Chalamet’s career yet, with the star also appearing in big-budget sci-fi sequel Dune 2 and as Bob Dylan in the biopic A Complete Unknown.