Yesterday we were given a first look at Timothee Chalamet in the role of Willy Wonka in the upcoming prequel movie coming to cinemas in 2023 from the actor himself, and hot on the heels of that official reveal comes some on-set footage of the actor performing one of the musical numbers that will be featured in the film. The footage shared on Twitter by user @_ARTSARTSARTS shows Chalamet riding atop a vehicle as the song plays in the background and he mimes along to it. While there have been some contrasting opinions on the look of the character, there is no doubt that his singing voice is clearly up to the task on the track in question.
As with any new iteration of a well-loved character, there will always be those that welcome a new actor with open arms, and those who have to be dragged along for the ride kicking and screaming that “no-one can compete with (insert chosen actor name here)”. We have seen it with the Joker, James Bond, Doctor Who and many more over the years, and now it is happening with Willy Wonka, with the legendary Gene Wilder being the man that cannot be replaced or bettered.
However, this is a prequel movie, not a remake or a reboot, so there should really be no need for such a comparison to be made, as Wilder’s performance in 1971’s Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory will still be there for everyone to bask in once Wonka is released, and if anything, the movie will likely lead more people to discover that gem of a performance in its wake.
Wonka officially began filming earlier this month and contains an ensemble cast including Olivia Colman, Roman Atkinson, Sally Hawkins, Keegan-Michael Key, Matt Lucas and Tom Davis among others. While Netflix recent acquired the rights to all of Roald Dahl’s stories, and will be no doubt developing their own content based on Wonka in time, Warner Bros. prequel was already agreed on a previous contract, that was agreed back in the 1990s but didn’t begin to come to fruition until the release of the Johnny Depp version of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Following that movie, Warner Bros, held onto the rights, which has allowed them to continue on with their prequel.
Back when the movie was originally announced, producer David Heyman was quick to emphasize that the film was not a remake of either of the previous Willy Wonka movies, but at the time they story was still being worked out.
We are still trying to figure out how to tell that story, what the story is,” Heyman told Collider. “It’s a prequel, it’s not a sequel. What makes Willy-when we find him at the chocolate factory doing the golden ticket, where is he before that? What leads him to that place where he’s locked himself away? It’s how does he get there? So we’re playing around with that. It’s not a remake… But it’s possibly an origin story… It’s challenging because you don’t have Dahl, you don’t have a Dahl book, and yet you have a Dahl character. But I think there’s a lot in his character that suggests who he is and also where he might come from or what his childhood or his middle age might have been like. So we’re exploring that. We’re discussing it. We’re in the very early stages and very excited about what lies ahead.”
Now we are getting to see the first glimpses of Timothée Chalamet and his take on the character, we are also going to see many more opinions of whether he can or cannot live up to his predecessors, but that is a judgement that should really be left until the movie opens on March 17th, 2023.