Wonka: 8 Quick Things We Know About The Movie Starring Timothée Chalamet

Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

It has been 50 years since the late Gene Wilder took us to a world of pure imagination in the 1971 classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and in a little more than a year from now, Timothée Chalamet will take us back to where it all began for Roald Dahl’s beloved chocolatier. In the very near future, one of Hollywood’s brightest stars will don the iconic coat and top hat (and hopefully cane) as he stars in Wonka, an origin story for Willy Wonka and how he came to be the most famous candy maker of all time. If this is the first you’re hearing about the upcoming movie, worry not, for we have put together a quick yet comprehensive guide of all the scrumdiddlyumptious information we have so far.

Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Wonka Will Be Released Theatrically March 17, 2023

One of the best bits of news about the upcoming Wonka movie is the fact that it already has a release date, though we'll be waiting a bit for it to arrive in theaters. On Friday, March 17, 2023, audiences will be welcomed back into the wild and crazy world created by Roald Dahl, only this time they’ll watch a much younger version of the world famous candy maker and dreamer.

Timothée Chalamet in Little Women; Rowan Atkinson in Love Actually; Sally Hawkins in Paddington; Keegan-Michael Key in Dolemite is My Name

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing; Universal Pictures; StudioCanal; Netflix)

The Wonka Cast Includes Timothée Chalamet, Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins, Keegan-Michael Key And More

Taking on the role of the titular chocolatier in Wonka will be Timothée Chalamet, who will be joined by a few of the most charismatic faces (and voices) in show business today. The identities of their respective roles have not yet been revealed by Warner Bros., but the cast includes Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Colman, Mathew Baynton, Jim Carter, Tom Davis, Simon Farnaby (who also co-wrote the film), Matt Lucas, Natasha Rothwell, and various other notable stars of film, television, and theatre. Expect to hear more about the Wonka cast as we get closer to the film’s Spring 2023 release date.

Blair Dunlop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Movie Will Follow A Young Willy Wonka Before He Opens His Iconic Chocolate Factory

Unlike the 1971 classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or Tim Burton’s 2005 reimagining Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2023’s Wonka will follow the titular character long before he was running a successful (and rather dangerous) candy factory. What kind of adventures Willy Wonka will explore in this fantastical origin story have yet to be revealed but expect them to be pure and full of imagination, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll involve the song-and-dance enthusiasts known as the Oompa Loompas. Like all things, we’ll just have to wait and see…

Paddington in Paddington 2

(Image credit: StudioCanal)

Wonka Is Being Helmed By Paddington Director Paul King

Again, we don’t yet know much about the story or plot details concerning Wonka, but the prior work of the film’s writer/director could be an indication and what we can expect. Warner Bros. has announced that Paul King, the filmmaker behind 2014’s Paddington and its successful 2017 sequel Paddington 2 (both of which received perfect scores here at CinemaBlend), co-wrote Wonka alongside Simon Farnaby and will direct the upcoming origin story. Those two movies, which were well-received by critics, children, and parents alike (a rare feat in today’s world) and were all around charming adventures. With his experience in adapting beloved children’s books into box office hits, it looks like Wonka is in good hands.

The Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory cast

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Like The 1971 Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory Movie, The Origin Story Will Feature Original Songs

The previous two adaptations of Roald Dahl’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the upcoming movie will also be full of great and magical musical moments. Warner Bros. has announced that Neil Hannon, the creative mind behind the Northern Irish pop-rock band The Divine Comedy, has been tasked with creating new original songs for Wonka. Throughout his career, Hannon has performed songs that have appeared on Doctor Who as well as the theme songs for Father Ted and The IT Crowd

It has not yet been revealed if we’ll get a new rendition of “Pure Imagination” or hear any of those classic Oompa Loompa cautionary songs, but we can still hold out hope, right?

Timothée Chalamet in The French Dispatch screenshot

(Image credit: Youtube)

Timothée Chalamet Has Described Wonka As Being A ‘Celebration Of Being Off-Center’

Many of Roald Dahl’s classic novels and short stories can be seen as being dark and cynical, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is no different. However, this doesn’t mean the imaginative writer didn’t champion the weirdness of his various characters, which appears to be the case in the upcoming Wonka. In an October 2021 chat with Time Magazine, Timothée Chalamet touched on the film’s tone and what audiences can expect, saying:

It’s not mining the darker emotions in life. It’s a celebration of being off-center and being O.K. with the weirder parts of you that don’t quite fit in.

This “celebration of being off-center” seems to be very much in line with previous versions of Willy Wonka, only this time we’ll see him before he became the famous reclusive candy maker.

The Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory cast

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Production on Wonka Kicked Off In September 2021 In The United Kingdom

Those wondering when cameras will start rolling on Wonka are in for quite the surprise as production on the upcoming movie got underway in September 2021 in the United Kingdom. It has not been revealed how much has been filmed at this point, but Timothée Chalamet did share a picture of himself on Twitter not long after production started in which he’s wearing a top hat and eccentric coat that’s covering multiple layers of colorful clothing. Be on the lookout for more on Wonka’s production as the months go on.

Gene Wilder and the Oompa Loompas in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Netflix Is Working On Its Own Willy Wonka Story With Taika Waititi Leading The Charge

The Timothée Chalamet-led Wonka isn’t the only adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic novel as Netflix announced in September 2021 that not only was it working on a story of its own but that it had also joined forces with the Roald Dahl Story Company for various upcoming projects. In a tweet that featured an animation of a Wonka Bar being unwrapped to reveal the Netflix logo, the streaming giant also announced that Taika Waititi would be leading some type of adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as well as a live-action Matilda movie from director Matthew Warchus. Expect to hear more about these projects in the near future.

There is still a lot about Wonka we don’t yet know, especially who all those great actors will be playing. But all will be revealed in time.

Philip Sledge
Content Producer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.