Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture
Timothée Chalamet is stepping into the chocolate factory when he takes on the role of the iconic candyman in Wonka this year, and director Paul King is shedding light on the musical aspects of the film, which is adapted from Roald Dahl’s 1964 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory novel.
“The Oompa Loompas sing a lot in the book, and Dahl always uses poetry,” King told Total Film magazine. “I didn’t want it to just become a musical where people are singing dialogue to each other for no discernible reason. I felt like it was more like a movie with songs than a musical.”
He added that Chalamet has a “beautiful singing voice,” and that his vocal skills reminded him of a beloved, legendary singer. “The person it reminded me of was Bing Crosby. There’s quite a range, because it does go from a couple of bigger, showstopper-y sort of things, to moments of real, pure emotion and he can do it all… I’m going to sound like a crazed fan.”
King previously told Rolling Stone that he specifically had his eyes on Chalamet for the role of Willy Wonka. “Because he’s Timothée Chalamet and his life is so absurd, his high school musical performances [singing “Sweet Charity” from the musical of the same name] are on YouTube [including his 2012 “Timmy Tim” rap] and have hundreds of thousands of views,” he said. “So I knew from stanning for Timmy Chalamet that he could sing and dance really well. And I knew that was in his arsenal, but I didn’t know how good he was. When I spoke to him he was quite keen. He’d done tap dancing in high school and he was like, ‘I’d quite like to show people I can do that.’”
Keegan-Michael Key, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Grant, Olivia Colman and Rowan Atkinson also star in Wonka, which is set to arrive on December 15, 2023. Watch the trailer below.