Wonka trailer shows Timothee Chalamet in title role and Hugh Grant's Oompa-Loompa

The film is a prequel to Roald Dahl’s beloved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Timothee Chalamet on set as chocolatier Willy Wonka. Photo: Instagram / tchalamet
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Fans of Roald Dahl have been given their first glimpse of Timothee Chalamet as Willy Wonka with the release of the first trailer for Wonka.

Chalamet, 27, takes on the role of the beloved chocolatier and sweets inventor from Dahl’s popular children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

In the book, a young boy named Charlie wins a ticket to tour the famous factory owned by Wonka and sets off on an adventure. However, Wonka is an origin story, set to take place as the factory is being set up. Charlie is not expected to make an appearance in the film, neither are the four other children who also win tickets – Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde and Mike Teavee.

The trailer shows Chalamet as a young Wonka with dreams to set up his own chocolate shop.

"I've spent the past seven years travelling the world and perfecting my craft," Wonka says in a voice-over. "You see, I'm something of a magician, inventor and chocolate maker."

It then shows Wonka coming up against The Chocolate Cartel, ready to put a stop to his plans. Wonka then teams up with a young girl, played by Calah Lane, as they set off on their chocolaty adventure.

We also see the film's ensemble cast including Hugh Grant as an Oompa-Loompa, Oscar winner Olivia Colman, Keegan-Michael Key, Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins and Matt Lucas.

Wonka is being directed by Paul King, best known for his Paddington films.

Chalamet is the third actor to play Willy Wonka in a film. Gene Wilder famously essayed the role in a 1971 adaptation and Johnny Depp played him in a 2005 remake.

In 2021, Chalamet shared a photo of himself on set, wearing a burgundy velvet jacket, patterned scarf and brown top hat, a classic look for the character.

“The suspense is terrible, I hope it will last,” he captioned the picture.

The Oscar-nominated actor, who is known for his roles in films such as Dune and Call Me by Your Name, is expected to show off his singing and dancing skills in the musical fantasy film.

Director King said fans of Chalamet might be surprised to learn that he “can also sing and dance brilliantly”. He praised Chalamet for the role and called him a “phenomenal actor” who was able to successfully put his own spin on the beloved character.

“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 told People.

“He's incredibly emotionally intelligent and can bring a great deal of emotional truth to the role.”

Updated: July 12, 2023, 8:38 AM