Updated On: November 06, 2023 by   Maha Yassin   Maha Yassin  

With an imagination as endless as the universe, a determination that can break mountains and a genuine love for a craft that brings people happiness, Willy Wonka is taking us on an adventure back when he was just Willy trying to become Wonka.

This Christmas, Timothée Chalamet is taking up the mantle of one of the most beloved characters in children’s movies and literature, Willy Wonka. With a new film and new story based on the eccentric character created by Roald Dahl, director Paul King and Timothée Chalamet are going back in time to before the events of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to show us, the lucky audience, how dreams can come true if you believe in them, work hard and take chances. Wonka (2023) will be a joyous affair that suits the magical time of Christmas, bringing children and families back to the cinema to enjoy an undiluted dose of pure magic.

With the first trailer for Wonka finally getting released, everyone is talking about the film, what to expect and how it might stand compared to the 1971 and 2005 previous films and their beautiful portrayals of the world’s most famous fictional chocolate maker. For us, we’re just super excited to see Willy Wonka back on our screens with a new story to tell and for Timmy to bless us with another extraordinary performance.

So before the movie comes on 15 December 2023, let’s talk more about the inspiration behind this long-awaited prequel, the excellent cast that will bring it to life and what we can expect to see when we take our families to the theatre in December.

The Factory Is Under Construction

Everyone knows Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. You have either read the book as a child, watched the 1971 musical movie with Gene Wilder, the 2005 movie with Johnny Depp, or at least heard of it! Roald Dahl’s story of the adventures of a little kid named Charlie as he wins a tour of the world’s most extensive and most exquisite chocolate factory is a well-loved and well-cherished tale that never loses its magic.

The story was first adapted to the big screen in 1971 with Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. The movie was a musical comedy that garnered great reviews from both critics and audiences. For many people, Wilder’s portrayal of Willy Wonka is the one that rings true to the children’s tale. With that in mind, Warner Bros acquired the rights to the characters in 2016 and announced that they would be making a prequel to the 1971 film.

That was great news for Willy Wonka fans! Because, in all truth, no one wanted another remake of the same story. It was already done perfectly, and a new story was needed. Add a familiar character everyone loves, and you have a winning project!

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Two years later, Paul King (Paddington) was announced as the movie’s director, with David Heyman (from Harry Potter Series) and Michael Siegel as producers. This crew already looked like a winning combo with many successful films up their sleeves. However, when rumours started circulating about who might possibly play Wonka, everyone got 100% more excited. Many names were attached to the project, including Ryan Gosling (Barbie), Donald Glover (Atlanta), Ezra Miller (The Flash) and even Tom Holland (MCU’s Spider-Man). In the end, Paul King watched a YouTube video of Timothée Chalamet singing and dancing during his time in high school and decided this was his Willy Wonka!

Now with a director, producers and a star at the helm of the film, it was time to announce the rest of the cast and start working! The movie started shooting in 2021 in locations all over the United Kingdom, including London, Bath and Watford. On October 2021, one month into shooting, Timmy blessed us with a picture of him in his costume, captioned, “The suspense is terrible, I hope it will last”. And if we weren’t already hyped for Wonka, that picture did it!

A trailer was finally released on 11 July 2023 to give us a glimpse into Wonka’s vivid world and excited us all about being part of it this Christmas!

There Is No Magic Without Music

Just like the 1971 movie, Wonka will be a musical comedy. Our best boy Timothée will be performing seven musical numbers throughout the movie! It is only fitting since his high school video is what got him the role in the first place. 

Music adds a certain kind of magic and wonders to movies, and with a film like Wonka, you want the audience to feel like they have been moved to a whole new world filled with endless possibilities and happiness that you can create. What better way to do that than enchanting musical numbers with dancers, colourful outfits, and great lyrics?

You will be happy to know that the movie will not use the same music and lyrics as the 1971 musical but will give us, the lucky audience, a bunch of new songs to sing along to. The new songs are all written by Neil Hannon, the lead singer of The Devine Comedy, a Northern Irish band that had provided music for many movies before, including The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who

Wonka‘s musical score is composed by Joby Talbot, who previously wrote music for the National Ballet of Canada’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Winter’s Tale and Like Water for Chocolate.

The Magical Cast of Wonka

We know we told you that Timothée Chalamet would be playing the titular role of WIlly Wonka, but we still haven’t talked about the rest of the magnificent cast. Wonka features some of the most talented actors known today, including but not limited to Olivia Colman and Hugh Grant!

Let’s look closer at the cast of Wonka and what they worked on before they made it to the world’s best chocolate factory!

Timothée Chalamet


Timothée Chalamet is an American-French actor (you can tell by his name!). At only 27, Timothée has an absolutely magnificent filmography. He started his career with a small role in Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar but became one of Hollywood’s favourite leading men.

He starred as the lead role in Luca Guadagnino’s coming-of-age film Call Me by Your Name (2017), earning himself his first-ever Academy Award nomination at only 20 years of age. He went on to star in two of Greta Gerwig’s Academy-nominated movies, Lady Bird and Little Women. Timothée currently plays the role of Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve’s remake of Dune. After the success of the first movie, Dune: Part II will also be coming to theatres later this year.

A two times Academy Award nominee, Timothée is well on his way to becoming one of the most memorable actors of his generation. With the role of Willy Wonka, he will hopefully prove that he is not only great at dramas and science fiction movies but also at comedies and lighter projects.

Calah Lane

Calah Lane is an 18-year-old British actress who is also both a talented singer and dancer (the perfect choice for Wonka!). She plays the role of a little girl who meets Wonka and joins him on his journey to make his chocolatier dreams come true.

Lane started her acting career at the age of four, working on various projects, from film to commercials to theatre. Her most prominent roles so far were all in short films such as Warner Bros’ Bad Things, which earned her the Best Actress in a Short Film at the Warner Brothers Young Entertainer Awards. She also worked with Issa Rae on her short film Junebug as the lead actress. Wonka will be Lane’s first significant role in a major blockbuster film.

Olivia Colman


Olivia Colman is an award-winning British actress who is best known for her pure love of the craft and her versatile choices of roles. She’s even dubbed as the actress who never says no to a part! (What a sweetheart!)

Colman has worked on so many projects it’s hard to keep count. Her most recent role greatly impacted her career by portraying Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s The Crown for two seasons. This role earned her a Golden Globe Award and two Emmy Awards. Her role in The Favourite as Queen Anne earned her first and probably not last Academy Award for Best Actress.

Hugh Grant


Who would have seen it coming? Hugh Grant is playing a little dancing Oompa-Loompa. This was definitely not something we knew we wanted until we got it, and now we can’t live without it. 

He doesn’t need much introduction, but Hugh Grant is a British actor who started his career as a charming actor, playing the lead in many romantic comedies such as Notting Hill opposite Julia Roberts, Bridget Jones’ Diary with Renée Zellweger and Music and Lyrics opposite Drew Barrymore. Throughout his 30+ years old career, Grant starred in various other movies, including his BAFTA-nominated role opposite Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins.

The movie has a massive cast of the most talented actors. Other than Chalamat, Lane, Colman and Grant, Wonka also stars Keegan-Michael Key, Sally Hawkins and Rowan Atkinson, among many others.

Welcome to the Greatest Chocolate Factory in the World!

Wear your most creative outfit, and let your dreams fly, as Wonka will be coming to theatres everywhere this Christmas on 15 December 2023. An official rating for Wonka has yet to be announced, but since it is made for families, children, and adults, we expect it will be rated PG or PG-13. That makes it the best choice for your Christmas movie this year.

Get ready for a Christmas adventure like no other, with Wonka coming to theatres near you this year!

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