Wonka Film: Everything We Know So Far

By Ellie Smith

8 months ago

Paul King is taking us into a world of pure imagination with his new Roald Dahl remake

The internet is going wild for Wonka, a new film which sees Timothée Chalamet taking on Roald Dahl’s eccentric chocolatier in a prequel to the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (starring Gene Wilder). The trailer shows the US star as a young Willy Wonka, alongside a star-studded cast that includes Hugh Grant as an Oompa Loompa (yes, really). So what can we expect from the film – and when can we catch it in cinemas?

Wonka Film: Everything To Know Before You Watch

When Is Wonka Released?

Wonka will arrive in UK cinemas on 8 December 2023, following its premiere at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on 28 November 2023.

In the US, it will arrive in cinemas on 15 December.

Where Is Wonka Streaming?

The streaming release date for Wonka is still TBC but, as it is a Warner Bros. movie, we expect it to arrive on Prime Video in 2024.

The Plot

Wonka is based on the character at the centre of Dahl’s beloved children’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which has been adapted into a number of films already including the 1971 original and Tim Burton’s 2005 remake. This version, directed by Paddington’s Paul King, however, is set earlier – ahead of the opening of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. 

A synopsis for the film tells us: ‘this irresistibly vivid and inventive big screen spectacle will introduce audiences to a young Willy Wonka, chock-full of ideas and determined to change the world one delectable bite at a time.’

Timothée Chalamet as Willy Wonka

As depicted in the trailer, the film will follow Wonka as he goes up against the ‘chocolate cartel’, plus the police – and even fines for daydreaming. We’ll also get an insight into Wonka’s relationship with his mother, and a friendship with a young orphan.

Speaking about the premise of the film in an interview with Time back in 2021, Chalamet said: ‘It’s not mining the darker emotions in life. It’s a celebration of being off-center and of being OK with the weirder parts of you that don’t quite fit in.’

The Cast

Chalamet will follow stars including Johnny Depp and Gene Wilder, who have previously played the part of Willy Wonka. Speaking about the experience back in May, he said: ‘To work on something that will have an uncynical young audience, that was just a big joy. That’s why I was drawn to it. In a time and climate of intense political rhetoric, when there’s so much bad news all the time, this is hopefully going to be a piece of chocolate.’

Timothée Chalamet as Willy Wonka

King has praised Chalamet’s performance, telling People: ‘I think what’s so remarkable about his performance is not only that he is funny and mischievous and quite mysterious, as well – just like the Willy Wonka that people will know – but also, he brings such heart to the role and he’s a brilliant actor. He’s incredibly emotionally intelligent and can bring a great deal of emotional truth to the role.’

Alongside Chalamet, the trailer gave us a first look at Grant as an Oompa Loompa working in Wonka’s factory. He appears as an orange-faced character trapped in a glass jar, with Wonka saying: ‘So you’re the funny little man who’s been following me?’ In response, Grant says: ‘I will have you know that I am a perfectly respectful size for an Oompa-Loompa.’

Other notable cast names include Olivia Colman, Rowan Atkinson, Matt Lucas, Sally Hawkins and Calah Lane.

Images courtesy of Warner Bros.