12 July 2023

You’re not tripping – that really is Hugh Grant as an Oompa Loompa in a jar for ‘Wonka’

The British actor’s appearance in the first trailer for ‘Wonka’ is all the internet is talking about right now.

Before he built a world of pure imagination, Willy Wonka had a dream. The first trailer for Wonka – the musical prequel film starring Timothée Chalamet as the titular chocolatier originally played by Gene Wilder – has arrived, offering a delicious backstory and, yes, Hugh Grant as an Oompa Loompa.

Talking at a trailer preview event, writer/director Paul King explained why he cast his Paddington 2 villain in “the smallest part he’s ever played.”

“It was just going back to the books again, the way the Oompa Loompas – they sing mostly in the original book, there’s not really dialogue for them – but they have these great long poems where they talk about the kids,” King said.

“They’re incredibly sarcastic and judgmental and cruel and very Roald Dahl-y about these kids. They really don’t hold back. So it was really thinking about that character who could be a real shit and I went, ‘Ah Hugh.’ He’s the funniest, most sarcastic shit that I’ve ever met and it was very nice to put him in the film.”

While there’s only a hint of it in Wonka’s first trailer, King also confirmed that Grant will have at least one song and dance number in the new movie. 

Chalamet couldn’t help but get involved with the memes either, appropriately tweeting “HUGHMPA LOOMPA DOOPATY GRANT,” following the trailer’s arrival.

Back at CinemaCon in April, Chalamet revealed that working with Grant was a “dream come true” and called seeing him as an Oompa Loompa as a “trip.” We can certainly agree with that now.

Along with Chalamet and Grant, Wonka stars Academy-Award winner Olivia Colman, Rowan Atkinson, Keegan-Michael Key, Paterson Joseph, Matt Lucas, Mathew Baynton, Natasha Rothwell, Jim Carter, and Sally Hawkins as Wonka’s mother.

Wonka is set to release in cinemas worldwide on December 15th. 

  • Writer Chris Saunders
  • Banner Image Credit Warner Bros.

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