Timothee Chalamet to play Willy Wonka in musical based on chocolatier's early life

The Warner Bros film takes place before the events of the much-loved Roald Dahl classic 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'

Timothee Chalamet will take on the famous role of Willy Wonka, also portrayed by Gene Wilder in a 1971 film, right, in a 2023 musical from Warner Bros. AP Photo
Timothee Chalamet will take on the famous role of Willy Wonka, also portrayed by Gene Wilder in a 1971 film, right, in a 2023 musical from Warner Bros. AP Photo

Timothee Chalamet will take on the role of the world’s most famous chocolatier, Willy Wonka, in a musical based on the character’s early life.

The Call Me By Your Name actor, 25, was announced as the lead in the upcoming Warner Bros feature entitled Wonka, which the studio says will “focus on a young Willy Wonka and his adventures prior to opening the world's most famous chocolate factory".

Paddington director Paul King will direct the film, with the script by Simon Farnaby and Harry Potter’s David Heyman as producer. The film is slated for release in March 2023.

Though plot details are being kept under wraps, it is said the film is set to delve into the early life of one of Roald Dahl’s most famous characters, exploring the journey that led him to become the candy man. However, Chalamet’s representatives have confirmed that the actor will sing and dance in the film.

The film is a prequel to the beloved tale Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which has been brought to the big screen twice – first, in 1971 starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, and again in Tim Burton’s 2005 reboot, in which Johnny Depp played the lead.

The story is set to get yet another spin-off, from Jojo Rabbit director Taika Waititi, who is separately making a pair of animated series for Netflix, one centred on the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and another based on the Oompa-Loompas.

Wonka is the latest in a string of high-profile projects for Chalamet, including Denis Villeneuve's Dune, Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch, Adam McKay's Don't Look Up and Luca Guadagnino's Bones & All.

Updated: May 25, 2021 12:26 PM

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