Emma Clarendon shares a few initial thoughts on the film focusing on the origin of the famous chocolate maker.
There have been a lot of questions with regards to the need to revisit the world of Willy Wonka, given that we have had two films based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, first starring Gene Wilder and the second with Johnny Depp, both putting their own mark on the quirky (and yes on occasion sinister) Willy Wonka.
However, this new film takes different approach and is set to focus on the origin story of Willy Wonka and how he came to meet the Oompa-Loompas during his earliest adventures. Written by Simon Farnaby and Paul King (who also directs), one of my main questions with regards to the plot of this film is how it came about – how much have the writers picked up through Dahl’s own words (in both Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator) and how much is their own interpretation which might not quite fit in with how the author originally interpreted the character.
Of course in terms of artistic license, the writers are entitled to put their own spin on the story – but as long as the origin story doesn’t forget where it has to end up in order to make sense in terms of Charlie’s story for those familiar with that story.
As a character, it seems that instead of focusing on a darker aspect to the character, Timothée Chalamet seems to focus on a playful and quirky side keeping it light enough for those of a younger age to enjoy. It might be a subtler interpretation that many of us are used to but it will not make it any less interesting to watch. But he is surrounded by quite a cast as well that will ensure that the film has plenty of variety character wise – including but not limited to Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant, Sally Hawkins and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.
What is clear to see from this trailer is that there will be plenty of opportunities for magic and adventure, perfect for a Christmas time release (it will be released in cinemas on the 15th December). While many of the more magical elements are hinted at through glimpses of people floating in the air having eaten a sweet, it is enough at this time to draw us in and make us wonder what else to expect.
It does look like good fun, but it will be interesting to see how Wonka brings more depth to this character and what else it can reveal about him.
By Emma Clarendon