Wonka – Film

About Wonka – Film

Wonka Film Details 

Wonka is a 2023 musical fantasy film directed by Paul King, who co-wrote the screenplay with Simon Farnaby based on a story by King. It tells the origin story of Willy Wonka, a character in the 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, featuring his early days as a chocolatier. The film stars Timothée Chalamet as the title character with an ensemble cast which includes Calah Lane, Keegan-Michael Key, Paterson Joseph, Matt Lucas, Mathew Baynton, Sally Hawkins, Rowan Atkinson, Jim Carter, Olivia Colman and Hugh Grant. It is the third live-action film based on Dahl’s novel, following Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).

Development began after Warner Bros. Pictures reacquired the rights to the character in October 2016 and announced that the film would serve as an origin story. While the film tells a standalone story with no connection to prior adaptations, King developed Wonka to exist as a “companion piece” to the 1971 film by reprising some of the music, thematic elements, and visual design of the Oompa Loompas. In May 2021, Chalamet was confirmed to be portraying Wonka and the supporting cast were announced in September of that year. Filming began in the United Kingdom in September 2021, taking place in Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, in Watford, as well as Oxford, Lyme Regis, Bath, St Albans and at the Rivoli Ballroom in Crofton Park, London. The original songs for the film were contributed by Neil Hannon, while its original score was provided by Joby Talbot.

Wonka had its world premiere in London at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, on November 28, 2023. It was released in the United Kingdom on December 8 and in the United States on December 15 by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film has grossed over $511 million worldwide against a $125 million budget and received generally positive reviews from critics. The film received a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Film and Chalamet was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance.



In October 2016, Warner Bros. Pictures reacquired the rights to the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) character Willy Wonka from Roald Dahl’s estate, with a film in development from producers David Heyman and Michael Siegel. The announcement of the project was met with a mostly negative response as it came less than two months following the death of Gene Wilder, who portrayed Willy Wonka in the 1971 film adaptation. The following month, Heyman revealed that the project would not be a third straight adaptation of the book: “They’ve done two films, quite different. But it’s possibly an origin story. We’re just in the early stages of it, working with a writer called Simon Rich, which is wonderful.”

In February 2018, it was announced Paul King was in negotiations to direct. That same year, it was revealed the film would serve as a prequel to the events of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. King grew up as a fan of both the book and the 1971 film adaptation, and enjoyed Tim Burton’s 2005 adaptation as an adult. “I was a bit nervous because origin stories don’t always feel essential, and I was aware this is such a beloved property,” he said. After being approached by Heyman to direct, King felt the urge to revisit Dahl’s book and was surprised: “I realised that it’s also an amazing emotional masterpiece. I really wasn’t expecting that. Or maybe I had forgotten how incredibly touching it is. Poor little Charlie suffers so much. And you’re so rooting for him. I found myself in tears at the end of it.” King’s hiring as director, as well as the project’s title Wonka, was announced in January 2021.

King wanted the film to double as a prequel to both the book and the 1971 film adaptation; as such, King decided to set his film 25 years before the events of the story. King worked very closely with the Dahl estate, namely producer Luke Kelly, who was Dahl’s grandson. In creating the supporting characters, King was inspired by several of Dahl’s other stories: the trio of villains, the “Chocolate Cartel”, drew inspiration from Boggis, Bunce, and Bean from Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox; and the character of Mrs. Scrubbit was inspired by Dahl’s short story “The Landlady”. King developed the screenplay with his Paddington 2 (2017) collaborator Simon Farnaby; Jeff Nathanson, Simon Rich, and Simon Stephenson also provided additional literary material.


  • Timothée Chalamet as Willy Wonka, an aspiring magician, inventor and chocolatier with a difficult dream to open his very own chocolate shop
    • Colin O’Brien as Young Willy Wonka
  • Calah Lane as Noodle, an orphan girl who becomes Willy’s assistant
  • Keegan-Michael Key as the unnamed chocolate-addicted chief of police who is in cahoots with the Chocolate Cartel
  • Paterson Joseph as Arthur Slugworth, a corrupt businessman and the leader of the Chocolate Cartel
  • Matt Lucas as Gerald Prodnose, a corrupt businessman and member of the Chocolate Cartel who always mentions “in which he dies” when the mentioning of someone ending up in “an accident” happens.
  • Mathew Baynton as Felix Fickelgruber, a corrupt businessman and member of the Chocolate Cartel who retches at the word “poor”.
  • Sally Hawkins as Mrs. Wonka, Willy Wonka’s late mother
  • Rowan Atkinson as Father Julius, a corrupt chocolate-addict priest in league with the Chocolate Cartel
  • Jim Carter as Abacus Crunch who reveals to Wonka the existence of the Chocolate Cartel after previously working as an accountant for Slugworth
  • Natasha Rothwell as Piper Benz
  • Olivia Colman as Mrs. Scrubitt
  • Hugh Grant as Lofty, an Oompa-Loompa who eventually becomes Wonka’s ally
  • Rich Fulcher as Larry Chucklesworth
  • Rakhee Thakrar as Lottie Bell
  • Tom Davis as Bleacher
  • Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as Officer Affable
  • Simon Farnaby as Basil
  • Charlotte Ritchie as Barbara
  • Ellie White as Gwennie
  • Freya Parker as Miss Bon Bon, Slugworth’s secretary
  • Sophie Winkleman as The Countess
  • Murray McArthur as Ship Captain
  • Tracy Ifeachor as Dorothy Smith, Noodle’s mother
  • Isy Suttie as Fruit & Veg Vendor
  • Phil Wang as Colin
  • Tim FitzHigham as a Sinister Ship Captain


December 8, 2023


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