Timothee Chalamet has treated fans to a picture of himself in the traditional Willy Wonka getup: top hat, red velvet jacket and waistcoat. Released on his social media, the photo is in promotion of his upcoming film, ‘Wonka,’ where he stars as the eccentric chocolate magnate.
Unveiling the image on the 10th of October, first on his Instagram, Chalamet wrote: “The suspense is terrible, I hope it will last … WONKA.”
The film is scheduled for release in March 2023, so a little while off yet, but with Chalamet’s star in the ascendency, particularly with ‘Dune’ right on the doorstep of cinemas across the world, fans have gone wild over the photo.
“Absolutely,” Zendaya, Chalamet’s co-star in ‘Dune’ commented. And she was far from the only excited celebrity.
Rebel Wilson added, “All about this x,” and MTV wrote, “I’m gonna have dreams about this tonight…”
Aaron Paul, who played alongside Bryan Cranston in ‘Breaking Bad,’ simply wrote: “YEEESSSSSS.”
From what is known about the film right now, it will be a looser adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl children’s story first published in 1964, focussing on the origins of the mysterious chocolate factory owner. It makes sense, as Chalamet is significantly younger than the previous actors to play the character: Gene Wilder in 1971’s ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ and Johnny Depp in the 2005 Tim Burton adaptation.
WONKA ✨✨? pic.twitter.com/ozaerNtroP— Timothée Chalamet (@RealChalamet) October 10, 2021
Reports suggest a center point of the plot of the Chalamet movie will be how a young Wonka meets his neon assistants, the Oompa-Loompas.
Paul King, the director of ‘Paddington,’ has been attached to the project for a few years now, originally hoping to bring his Wonka origin story to cinemas in 2018. The screenplay is to be written by Simon Farnaby, and a few other notable actors are reputed to be on board, including Rowan Atkinson, Matt Lucas and Olivia Coleman.
Beyond that, little more is known about what the film might be about. However, there are a few clues fans of the character, or of Roald Dahl’s books in general, can pick apart to guess the directions King and Farnaby might take.
The first is a flashback to Willy Wonka’s childhood in the Burton movie, where audiences see that Wonka’s father was a dentist with an intense hatred of candy. “No son of mine is going to be a chocolatier!” he shouts at his son, a memory that clearly haunts Depp’s take on the character into his adult life.
Another are the lesser-known autobiographical works of Dahl himself. ‘Boy,’ published in 1984, details the inspirations for the Willy Wonka story, with the author living at boarding school in Repton having to warm toilet seats for the prefects, the only joy in his depressing life the occasional chocolate samples given to the students by the next-door candy factory.
And in ‘Going Solo,’ released two years later, Dahl documents his travels through Africa, encountering savage lions and battling Nazis with the Royal Air Force as part of the Battle of Athens. All of this is rich ground from which the pieces of a Wonka origin movie could be mined.