EXCLUSIVE: Timothée Chalamet is ready to head to a world of pure imagination as the Oscar-nominated actor is set to star as the iconic inventor and chocolate maker in Warner Bros and the Roald Dahl Story Co.’s Wonka. Based on characters created by Roald Dahl, the story will focus on a young Willy Wonka and his adventures prior to opening the world’s most famous chocolate factory. Sources also tell Deadline that Wonka will mark the first time Chalamet gets to show off his singing and dancing skills with several musical numbers set to appear in the film. He’s been the top choice for some time but scheduling was a hurdle that had to be overcome as training for those numbers is included in the prep for this film.
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Paul King will direct from the screenplay he wrote with Simon Farnaby (with prior writers including Simon Rich, Simon Stephenson, Jeff Nathanson and Steven Levenson). David Heyman is producing via his Heyday Films. Luke Kelly is also producing, with Michael Siegel and Alexandra Derbyshire executive producing.
This marks the third time WB has taken on the Wonka story, with the previous versions being adaptations of Dahl’s classic novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The first one, in 1971, starred Gene Wilder as Wonka, and the second in 2005 starred Johnny Depp in the role. While plot details are unknown, the new pic will be an origin tale of the character and mark the first time Charlie Bucket will not be featured.
For Chalamet, the Oscar nominee has avoided the tentpole pic over the years with his upcoming Dune adaptation being his first true venture into the genre. This film will also give him a possible franchise was well. Later this year, Chalamet will be seen staring in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune for Warner Bros and Legendary, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch opposite Frances McDormand, and Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence. He is repped by UTA and attorney Lev Ginsburg.
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