Ahead of the highly-anticipated theatrical release of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, it looks like Timothée Chalamet has found his next big role in the form of Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming Wonka movie. According to Deadline, Chalamet has officially signed on for the iconic leading role as Willy Wonka in the studio’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory prequel film. His casting comes after it was reported earlier this year that he and Spider-Man: No Way Home star Tom Holland were both being considered for the role.
This project would mark the first time that the Oscar-nominated actor will be able to sing and dance on-screen due to the musical numbers expected to be featured in the prequel. Chalamet will be succeeding Johnny Depp, who famously portrayed the character in Tim Burton’s 2005 version. Interestingly, the 25-year-old actor previously took on the role of the son of Depp’s Edward Scissorhands named Edgar in a recent Super Bowl car commercial.
Based on the character created by Roald Dahl, Wonka, will focus on a young Willy Wonka and his adventures prior to opening the world’s most famous chocolate factory. This also marks the first Charlie and the Chocolate Factory adaptation which will not feature Charlie Bucket, which was previously portrayed by Freddie Highmore.
The project has been in development since 2016, with Paddington‘s Paul King attached to direct from a screenplay he co-wrote with Simon Farnaby, based on the script by Simon Rich, Simon Stephenson, Jeff Nathanson, and Steven Levenson. Producers are Luke Kelly, and David Heyman through his Heyday Films, with Michael Siegel serving as a producer.
Wonka is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on March 17, 2023.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been twice adapted for the big screen, including a hit 2005 version — also released by Warners — starring Johnny Depp and directed by Tim Burton, and most famously as 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder in his most iconic role. Both adaptations were produced by Warner Bros. Pictures.
No direct feature adaptation has been made of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (though elements of it were used in both films), and Dahl was developing a third Wonka book titled Charlie in the White House before he passed away in 1990.