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Timothée Chalamet Cast As Young Willy Wonka In Prequel Movie


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Timothée Chalamet has officially been cast as the lead in Warner Bros.' Wonka, the prequel to the beloved Roald Dahl story. Dahl's 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has seen its fair share of big screen adaptations, first being turned into the 1971 classic Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Gene Wilder's performance remains beloved to this day. Then, the story and Wonka's characterization received a deeper dive in 2005 with Tim Burton's take on the book, with Johnny Depp playing the eccentric candy maker. Currently, Netflix is even at work on developing animated shows about Wonka's world, with Taika Waititi attached as writer-director.

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On top of all that is Wonka, Warner Bros.' origin story for the character. This project has been in development since 2016, when it was announced that Harry Potter producer David Heyman was producing a standalone prequel. Paul King (Paddington) is attached to direct, and Wonka officially received a March 2023 release date earlier this year. At the time, the casting shortlist for the role of Willy Wonka named Chalamet and Tom Holland as potential contenders. Now, only one has proved triumphant.

RELATED: Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory Is A Gateway Horror Movie For Kids

According to Deadline, Chalamet has officially been cast as Willy Wonka for the upcoming prequel. It's said he's long been the top choice for the role, but scheduling was a major obstacle before he was able to sign on. Sources report there will be musical numbers in Wonka, so Chalamet will be singing and dancing in this project. Most plot details are still being kept under wraps, but it will definitely be an origin story focused on young Willy and his adventures prior to opening the world's most famous chocolate factory.

For Chalamet, this is just the latest major project he can add to his filmography. Chalamet first broke out in 2017's Call Me by Your Name, a role that nabbed him an Oscar nomination. Since then, he's appeared in additional awards fare like Lady Bird and Little Women. Later this year, he will finally take center stage in Denis Villeneuve's Dune, which was originally scheduled for 2020. Dune was already new territory for Chalamet, and with Wonka, he's continuing to diversify his cinematic roles.

With Chalamet on board, Wonka can continue to move forward toward production. As the movie isn't scheduled for release until 2023 and the pre-production work will include dance training for Chalamet, it seems likely that Wonka is still a ways away from starting filming. Save for a project that might reteam him with his Call Me by Your Name director Luca Guadagnino, Bones & All, Chalamet isn't attached to any other projects. That means Wonka can enter pre-production soon and perhaps kick off filming by the end of the year.

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