'Wonka' Has Been Fast-Tracked to Streaming So You Can Have a Sweet Time with Timothée Chalamet at Home
What's the best movie to stream right now? This chocolatier origin story from the director of the 'Paddington' movies, of course.
January 31, 2024
If this isn't a golden ticket to a great night on the couch, then we don't know what is: the delightful Willy Wonka prequel starring Timothée Chalamet (Bones and All) and directed by the Paddington films' Paul King is now spreading its sweetness to your couch. Although it's still playing in cinemas after opening in mid-December 2023, Wonka has been fast-tracked to digital so that you can get chocolate cravings at home.
And you will be have a hankering for desserts as Chalamet sings, twirls around an umbrella, and talks about making weird and wonderful treats — and as a childhood favourite gets a prequel. Our tip: choose your movie-watching snacks accordingly. Otherwise, your stomach will start grumbling amid the songs, dancing and Hugh Grant (Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves) stealing scenes as an Oompa-Loompa.
Wonka hitting digital helps add to any pre-Dune: Part Two Timmy C marathons that you might be planning before the latter film reaches the big screen at the end of February. With King writing and directing, the first with co-scribe Simon Farnaby, this new stint with Roald Dahl's chocolatier gives the character an origin story starring the actor who has 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.
Here, Chalamet croons his way through a whimsical world of sugar 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 before with Gene Wilder playing the part in 1971, then Johnny Depp in 2005. The difference this time: not just Chalamet, 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 those 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, 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.
Beyond Chalamet and Grant, Wonka's cast is as jam-packed as a lolly bag, with the pair 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).
And the magical tone sprinkled throughout Wonka 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.
Check out the trailer for Wonka below:
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