Timothee Chalamet as Willy Wonka in Wonka

The First Trailer for ‘Wonka’ Is Here, and It’s Wild

If you like chocolate and you like Timothée Chalamet, this movie is for you. In Wonka, a prequel to the classic Roald Dahl story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Chalamet plays the eccentric chocolatier in his younger years. And yes, it’s a musical!

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Chalamet posted a first look of himself in costume as Wonka all the way back in 2021, in an Instagram pic captioned “The suspense is terrible, I hope it will last…”—a reference to a line said by Gene Wilder’s Wonka in 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Well, the suspense has lasted this long, so let’s dip into the chocolate box and see what’s in store.

Is Timothée Chalamet singing in this movie?

Chalamet has—wait for it—seven whole musical numbers in this film. Speaking to People magazine, director Paul King says he does a very good job indeed with them. “It’s really a tour de force for [Chalamet] there,” King enthused. “He was rehearsing for months before we went to kind of that honing skills, which was a pleasure to watch.”

As for the songs themselves, we’ll have to wait and see if they capture the imagination the way the ones from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory did.

Who else is in Wonka?

Timothee Chalamet as Willy Wonka and Hugh Grant as an Oompa Lompa in Wonka (Warner Bros.)
(Warner Bros.)

Paul King also helmed the Paddington movies, so it should come as no surprise that some of those actors show up in Wonka, too. Sally Hawkins, a.k.a. Paddington’s adoptive mom, plays Wonka’s mom in this. Matt Lucas, Tom Davis, and Simon Farnaby—all of whom played minor roles in the Paddington flicks—are along for the ride as well. Then there’s Paddington 2 star Hugh Grant, who has perhaps the most unexpected role of all in this movie, as he’s playing … an Oompa Loompa. Yeah, one of the little orange guys. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, King described Grant’s character as “somebody who could be a real s**t,” adding that he cast Grant precisely because “he’s the funniest, most sarcastic s**t I’ve ever met.” Er, high praise indeed …?

That’s not all. The cast of Wonka also includes Keegan-Michael Key, Rowan Atkinson, British national treasure Olivia Colman, and young actress Calah Lane, who looks to have a pretty big role in the movie.

What’s the plot of Wonka?

Is Wonka a necessary movie, considering that the backstory of the character is already pretty well established in other films and books? Well … probably not, no. But it’s still fun to see these scenes of young Willy Wonka come to life.

The trailer gives us a few clues as to what the actual plot will be. It looks like Wonka, having traveled the world for seven years to perfect his chocolate skills, returns to a rather dystopian city run by the “chocolate cartel,” where policemen hand out fines for “daydreaming.” A very Dahl-esque idea, that.

Is there a trailer for Wonka?

Yes! See for yourself:

When will Wonka be released?

The movie was originally set to release on March 17, 2023, but now it’s releasing in the holiday season. Which is a much better choice, because this is a Christmas movie if I ever saw one. Paul King thinks so too, seeing as he told People, “It should be just a great Christmas movie. That’s what we’re trying to do, and I hope people really embrace it as that.”

So we can expect the chocolate factory doors to open on December 15, 2023.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)


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Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.