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SYFY WIRE Timothee Chalamet

Timothee Chalamet lands sweet role of young Willy Wonka in 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' musical prequel

By Josh Weiss
Timothee Chalamet Willy Wonka

Timothée Chalamet is officially the finder of a golden ticket. Variety has confirmed that the Dune star has landed the tooth-achingly sweet role of a young Willy Wonka in Warner Bros.' musical prequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

"Reps for Chalamet confirm he will be singing and dancing in the movie," writes the trade outlet. Music is baked into the classic Roald Dahl property thanks to the Oompa-Loompas, Wonka's petite factory workers who have a famous penchant for breaking into song.

As we reported earlier this year, Chalamet was on the studio's shortlist alongside Spider-Man's Tom Holland. Produced by David Heyman (Harry Potter), the film will be directed by Paddington veteran, Paul King. Specific plot details are currently hidden under a nondescript Wonka Bar, but it is confirmed that the movie will center on the candy maker's earlier years before he invited a group of spoiled children — save for Charlie, of course — to his wondrous factory of sugary and logic-defying confections. 

The screenplay of pure imagination is being penned by Simon Rich, writer of An American Pickle. Exploring the origins of one of pop culture's most eccentric characters seems like the next logical step after preserving Seth Rogen in pickle brine for a hundred years, wouldn't you say?

Over at Netflix, Taika Waititi (Thor: Love and Thunder) is developing a pair of animated TV projects inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. One is more of a straight-up adaptation of the original book, while the other is described as "a wholly original take" on the Oompa-Loompas.

Wonka has previously been portrayed by Gene Wilder in Mel Stuart's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) and Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). The Burton adaptation briefly featured a young depiction of Wonka, played by Blair Dunlop.