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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) Synopsis

To say that Willy Wonka did not need to be remade is to merely state the extreme obvious. The late Gene Wilder’s (For the slow witted, I am well aware that Gene Wilder is not PHYSICALLY dead. Only comedically dead, which is just as bad.) performance is brilliant, probably his best work in a very memorable career. The movie itself is a mad mix of childish fun and insidiously disturbed evil. Both actor and film deserve to be left untouched and untainted in perpetuity.

Of course Charlie and the Chocolate Factory director Tim Burton would counter with the notion that his upcoming film is in fact not a remake, but a completely fresh adaptation based on the novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on which Willy Wonka itself is based. To me, that’s a pretty thin excuse. Granted, Willy Wonka, as an adaptation, is not a perfect representation of what is contained in the novel. But as a deservedly classic bit of film, it should stand as the definitive representation of it. By re-adapting the novel, perhaps Burton isn’t EXACTLY remaking Wonka, but he is second guessing it. Wilder and Wonka should be above that.

Should be, but they aren’t and so the re-adapt goes forward with the best people possible for remaking a great movie that doesn’t need to be remade. Barring the resurrection of Gene Wilder through advanced genetic cloning techniques, I suppose Johnny Depp is the best guy for the job. Perhaps he’ll play Wonka as a top hat wearing Bon Jovi and gain another Oscar nomination. Burton, his string of mediocrity (Big Fish included) notwithstanding, is also still Burton. The director with an affinity and talent for making good things out of freaks, and at its heart the world of Wonka is really nothing but freaks.

The best people possible are on the job, the only problem here is that it’s a job that doesn’t need to be done. I suppose we’ll all just have to grin and bear it.

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