How Will the New Willy Wonka Movie Compare to the 1971 Classic?

Willy Wonka movies
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Gather your Everlasting Gobstoppers, your Fizzy Lifting Drinks, Lickable Wallpaper, and of course, Wonka Bars as you prepare for the wonder, magic, and “Pure Imagination” of a new Willy Wonka film. The upcoming musical fantasy film Wonka, starring Timothée Chalamet, has been in the works since 2016. Now, things are moving along much faster and some photos of Chalamet as Willy Wonka have already been released with Chalamet wearing the iconic velvet coat and top hat. This leaves fans wondering, how will the new film compare to the 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder, and the 2005 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Depp. Will there be the charm and whimsy of the classic, full of rotten children, and of course sugary sweets galore?

For starters, the new film is reportedly a prequel that will dive into how Wonka found his love for all things sweet and delicious with Chalamet cast as a much younger version of Wonka. The cast has confirmed that it will be a musical and won’t delve into a dark origin story but will focus on how he meets the Oompa-Loompas, one of which will be played by Hugh Grant! A trailer was released for audiences at CinemaCon 2023 that gave a first look at Chalamet and Grant in the film, singing a reportedly very catchy tune.

Timothée Chalamet stars in the new ‘Wonka’ film

LYME REGIS, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 11: Timothée Chalamet is seen as Willy Wonka during filming for the Warner Bros and the Roald Dahl Story Company's upcoming movie 'Wonka' on October 11, 2021, in Lyme Regis, England. This film will focus on the young Willy Wonka on his earliest adventure and how he met the Oompa-Loompas

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At CinemaCon, Chalamet also confirmed that he has seven musical numbers in the film and called it “joyous.” Rounding out the cast are Keegan-Michael Key, Rowan Atkinson, Olivia Colman, Jim Carter, Matt Lucas, Mathew Baynton, Tom Davis, Simon Farnaby, Natasha Rothwell, Sally Hawkins, and Rakhee Thakrar. Set to be released on December 15, 2023, you can get a first look at it now.

In case you’ve forgotten about the original films, let’s go over them. In the 1971 version, Wilder played Willy Wonka and has been the most beloved version of the character for decades. Depp played the same character decades later but was met with some criticism, mainly because Wilder’s version was so great. Characters Charlie Bucket and his Grandpa Joe find a Golden Ticket in a Wonka Bar and are invited to Willy Wonka’s Factory. During the tour, Wonka tempts the children who were also invited, and one by one they disappear after disobeying the rules. Charlie is the only one left and will win the prize, but also succumbs to temptation and tries the Fizzy Lifting Drinks.

Of course, all’s well that ends well as eventually Charlie apologizes and stops Grandpa Joe from trying to gain revenge on Wonka. In turn, Wonka reveals that the grand prize is the business and Charlie has won! You can’t forget the beautiful Great Glass Elevator scene at the end of the film.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, Johnny Depp, teaser poster art, 2005

Warner Bros./Everett Collection

Meanwhile, in the 2005 version, the storyline is very similar but it does delve into Wonka’s history a bit. His father, Wilbur is a dentist and forbade him from eating candy as a child. He runs away from home to pursue a candy-making career but comes back home to find his family and childhood home are gone forever. He becomes depressed that his family abandoned him and Charlie helps him to relocate Wilbur and they reconcile. It seems as though the new prequel may not take the same turns as the 2005 version but will be more light and happy. Are you excited to watch Wonka when it comes out? Do you think Chalamet will be a good Wonka?

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June 2022

Who can forget all the great TV shows, movies and music of the ‘70s?

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