Given how it’s a film made by Paddington 2 director and co-writer Paul King, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the Charlie And The Chocolate Factory prequel Wonka will lean into the Britishness of Roald Dahl’s original story a bit more than the previous two films made by American filmmakers. Some of Britain’s biggest names will join the cast: Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins, and Olivia Colman have been added to Wonka in undisclosed roles.
They’re joining Timothée Chalamet, along with Mathew Baynton, Tom Davis, Simon Farnaby, Rich Fulcher, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Paterson Joseph, Keegan-Michael Key, Calah Lane, Matt Lucas, Colin O’Brien, Natasha Rothwell, Rakhee Thakrar, and Ellie White.
There’s also an official logline for the film: “Chalamet leads a star-studded ensemble in an origin story that explores the vivid, mythical beginnings of the imaginative young inventor before he becomes the renowned scrumdiddlyumptious Mozart of chocolate.” Not much is known about the eccentric candy man, but Tim Burton gave him a wider backstory in his 2005 film, where it’s revealed that his dad was a dentist who forbade him from eating candy and that’s why, in rebellion, he dedicated his life to making candy. But King likely has a different idea for how Wonka became a sociopathic recluse.
King is directing and co-wrote the screenplay with Simon Farnaby, who also co-wrote Paddington 2 with him. Filming is currently underway in London, and the movie is set to premiere on March 17, 2023. At the beginning of the year, The Wrap reported that “if the new movie does well, Warner Bros. could potentially turn it into a franchise, with characters like Charlie Bucket making appearances in future installments,” but it’s unclear if that’s actually King’s plan, or simply speculation from the publication.
In other Wonka-related news, in addition to the forthcoming Wonka—that’s a Warner Bros. flick—Netflix recently bought the Roald Dahl Story Company. There’s currently a Charlie And The Chocolate Factory series from Taika Waititi and Phil Johnston (Wreck-It Ralph, Zootopia) underway as part of that deal.