Are you ready for a Wonkaful weekend?
Today is the day Wonka arrives in theaters!
Based on the iconic character from Roald Dahl’s bestselling children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Wonka tells the story of how a young chocolate-maker, with only a hatful of dreams to his name, manages to change the world.
Helmed by Paddington and Paddington 2 writer/director Paul King, Wonka stars Timothée Chalamet in the title role, which introduces audiences to a young Willy Wonka, as he becomes the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker. Starring alongside Chalamet are Calah Lane, Keegan-Michael Key, Paterson Joseph, Matt Lucas, Mathew Baynton, Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins, Rowan Atkinson, Jim Carter, with Oscar winner Olivia Colman, and Hugh Grant. The film also stars Natasha Rothwell, Rich Fulcher, Rakhee Thakrar, Tom Davis and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.
Global Grind’s Sr. Content Director Janeé Bolden spoke with Timothée Chalamet and Keegan-Michael Key about the film ahead of this week’s release.
“It was a lot of pressure,” Chalamet told Global Grind about stepping into a role that has previously been brought to life by Gene Wilder in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s 2005 version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “But it felt, you know the story’s original. It’s a new story, it’s an origin story, which people can be skeptical of, but it’s wildly clever, it’s very whimsical, it’s cheerful, it’s full of holiday spirit. To answer your question, because it was in its own world, I felt safe in that.”
We truly enjoyed watching Chalamet sing and dance throughout Wonka, something he described to us as “new and challenging and very intimidating.” Fortunately he added that, “after a while you get a rhythm and I’m very happy with how it came out in the movie.”
Keegan-Michael Key plays the police chief in the film and one of the funniest aspects of Wonka is watching his character transform from the beginning of the movie to the end. You’ll have to watch the film to fully understand what we’re referring to — but we had to ask Key if there were any real life temptations he experiences that could lead him to looking like his character by the end of the film.
“The biggest threat would be key lime pie that’s my real life biggest threat,” Key confessed to Global Grind. “That’s my weakness. I love Key Lime Pie from just about any place. It’s my favorite dessert hands down.”
Key also let us in on what it was like to transform for the role:
“It was an absolute blast to do this in the movie,” Key added. “It’s wonderful that you have what felt like dress up when you were a kid. I really enjoyed being able to — we had such an amazing hair and makeup team that did the prosthetics. I’m trying to be vague because I don’t wanna give anything away, but I suffice it to say the hair and makeup team and the wardrobe team were so excellent, absolutely outstanding on this project and they helped me get into character.”
We’re telling you now — you have to see it!!!
Wonka opens in theaters and on IMAX beginning December 15, 2023 in North America.