Timothée Chalamet and Hugh Grant Tell the Chocolatier's Origin Story in the Candy-Coloured New 'Wonka' Trailer

Enter a world of pure imagination as the director of the 'Paddington' movies switches from talking bears to Roald Dahl.
Sarah Ward
October 13, 2023

Sweet Christmas alert: when festive season gets into full swing for 2023, Wonka will bring its treats to the big screen. Here, Roald Dahl's chocolatier gets an origin story from writer/director Paul King and his co-scribe Simon Farnaby, who were also behind the wonderful Paddington films — with Timothée Chalamet making the goods and Hugh Grant getting bantering as an Ooompa-Loompa.

He's had his heart broken during a lusty Italian summer, romanced Saoirse Ronan in a Greta Gerwig film not once but twice, spiced up his life in a sci-fi saga and sported a taste for human flesh. Now Chalamet is singing and dancing into a world of sugar. For everyone keen to see a new take on a childhood favourite starring one of the internet's boyfriends, Wonka will hit cinemas Down Under on Thursday, December 14 — and both the initial trailer and the just-dropped latest sneak peek are big on whimsy and pure imagination.

First gracing the page almost six decades back, in 1964 when Charlie and the Chocolate Factory initially hit print, Willy Wonka has made the leap to cinemas with Gene Wilder playing the part in 1971, then Johnny Depp in 2005. The difference this time: not just Chalamet making sweet treats, but a film that swirls in the details of Wonka's life before the events that've already been laid out in books and filled two movies.

The picture's main man has a dream — and, after spending the past seven years travelling the world perfect his craft, he's willing to get inventive to make it come true. Starting a chocolate business isn't easy, especially when the chocolate cartel doesn't take kindly to newcomers, selling choccies at an affordable price and sharing their wares with the masses.

From there, brainwaves, optimism, determination, wild and wonderful Wonka inventions, and life-changing choices all spring, plus big vats of chocolate, chocolate that makes you fly — and Willy's dedication to making "the greatest chocolate shop the world has ever seen".

Also accounted for: a mood of wonder, and not just due to the umbrella-twirling dream sequences and cane-whirling dance scenes in the first trailer, or the leaps through fairy floss and chats with Grant's (Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves) Lofty.

Indeed, the magical tone doesn't just fit the tale; it's exactly what King and Farnaby spun when they were celebrating a marmalade-loving bear. King helmed and penned both Paddington movies, while Farnaby also did the latter on the second (and acted in each). The duo worked together on wonderful and underseen 2009 film Bunny and the Bull as well, and on The Mighty Boosh, of which King directed 20 episodes.

On-screen, Wonka's cast is as jam-packed as a lolly bag, with Chalamet and Grant joined by Farnaby (The Phantom of the Open), as well as Olivia Colman (Heartstopper), Sally Hawkins (The Lost King), Keegan-Michael Key (The Super Mario Bros Movie), Rowan Atkinson (Man vs Bee), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey: A New Era) and Natasha Rothwell (Sonic the Hedgehog 2). Yes, you'll want a golden ticket to this.

Check out the latest trailer for Wonka below:

Wonka releases in cinemas Down Under on December 14, 2023.

Published on October 13, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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