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Wonka release date, cast, plot, and all the latest news

Things are getting real sweet around here. Here's everything we know about the Wonka release date and more on the Timothée Chalamet movie.

Wonka release date: Timothée Chalamet as Willy

When is the Wonka release date? We were all skeptical about a Willy Wonka prequel when it was first announced. Still, after watching the trailers, it seems as though Timothée Chalamet’s charming chocolatier might be about to prove us all wrong.

Yes, Wonka is looking like it could be one of the best family movies of the year, and some of us at The Digital Fix office are literally fizzing at the prospect of seeing Chalamet don Willy’s famous velvet coat. After all, it’s from the writer and director of the Paddington films, two of the best movies ever made (yeah, we said it), and a cast with more stars than the night sky. Here’s everything you need to know about Willy’s next adventure.

What is the Wonka release date?

The Wonka movie will be released on Friday, December 15, 2023. 

The film was initially scheduled for a March release, but it was delayed when Warner Bros decided to reshuffle a lot of its 2022/2023 slate.

Still, in our opinion, this was probably for the best. After all, when better to enjoy a fantasy movie about chocolate than the festive season?

Oddly enough, both the Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp Wonka movies were released during the summer in their respective years, so this is definitely a shift in gear. Still, nothing says Christmas like chocolate.

Wonka release date: Timothée Chalamet’s as Willy

Who’s in the Wonka cast?

Timothée Chalamet is set to play the titular chocolatier, but Wonka boasts an all-star cast that includes Sally Hawkins, Olivia Colman, Paterson Joseph, and Hugh Grant. 

The casting of Timothée Chalamet raised a few eyebrows, with some fans arguing that the young actor wasn’t “whimsical” enough. This was heightened when the first trailer came out since it seemed to be a little tame. That said, we think we shouldn’t knock him ’till we see it, and we’re more than willing to go in with an open mind.

But who’s Grant playing? Well, he’ll be stepping into Lofty the Oompa-Loompa’s diminutive shoes for the musical. We’re not sure who Grant’s agent is, but we’re loving all of the old smoothie’s recent roles.

Here’s the confirmed Wonka cast: 

  • Timothée Chalamet as Willy Wonka
  • Calah Lane as Noodle
  • Hugh Grant as Lofty the Oompa-Loompa
  • Paterson Joseph as Arthur Slugworth
  • Matt Lucas as Prodnose
  • Mathew Baynton as Ficklegruber
  • Sally Hawkins as Willy Wonka’s mother
  • Rowan Atkinson as Father Julius
  • Keegan-Michael Key
  • Jim Carter
  • Tom Davis
  • Olivia Colman as Mrs. Scrubbit
  • Natasha Rothwell
  • Rich Fulcher
  • Rakhee Thakrar
  • Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Simon Farnaby
  • Colin O’Brien
  • Ellie White
  • Murray McArthur
  • Tracy Ifeachor
  • Isy Suttie

Paddington director Paul King will be leading things behind the camera using a script he co-wrote with Farnaby. Farnaby is, of course, the genius behind the BBC show Ghosts (which is honestly one of the best TV series ever made), and we think his off-beat sense of humor and quick wit are the perfect match for Roald Dahl’s mischievous creation.

Wonka release date: Timothée Chalamet as Willy Wonka

What will Wonka be about?

Wonka is a musical prequel to Roald Dahl’s 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and follows a young Wonka before he sets up his incredible chocolate factory.

We know from attending a Wonka preview event that the film will see Willy arrive in a European city that is being run by a vicious chocolate cartel — a trio of three of the most successful chocolate makers — which includes Willy’s rival from the books, Slughorn.

These chocolate barons don’t take too kindly to a young Wonka trying to set up a chocolate shop that caters to the “poor” (their words, not ours), so his journey to becoming a master candy maker will be a lot harder than it looks.

Wonka release date: Hugh Grant as Lanky

The film will also see Willy’s first encounter with his future friends and factory workers, the Oompa-Loompas, in Wonka’s life. It looks as though Hugh Grant’s Lofty will follow Wonka back from Loompaland. Plus, we know that Wonka has a child sidekick, Noodle, an orphan girl who’s determined to end the chocolate cartel’s grip on the most delicious treat in the world.

The film will have its own continuity, ignoring the events established by Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s version of the film. So don’t expect Willy’s dad to be a dentist in this one. That said, when The Digital Fix sat down with director Paul King, he did promise that keen-eyed fans of the original film may spot a few Easter eggs.

Wonka release date: Timothée Chalamet’s as Willy staring at an Oompa Loompa

“It’s essentially an Easter egg hunt, which is quite right for a film about chocolate,” he told The Digital Fix. “[Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory] meant a great deal to me growing up. And I think because that was the version at the time, I think a lot of how I read the book, or at least remembered it, was influenced by that.”

“It seemed like a lovely challenge to do a film that could sit within that cinematic universe, to use the parlance of our time,” he continued. “It’s not completely conjoined with it, but at the same time, I liked the idea that nothing that would happen in our film would mean that that film didn’t make sense. I wanted to kind of honor that story.”

Wonka release date : Timothée Chalamet’s as Willy

Does Wonka have a trailer?

Yes! The Wonka trailer dropped on Tuesday, July 11, 2023. Now we can finally get a proper look at Chalamet in that classic top hat.

There’s plenty to look at in the Wonka trailer, which gives plenty of whimsical fancy. We get a proper look at Wonka arriving at a European city where chocolate cartels rule. Although Willy is an enthusiastic young chocolate maker, he’ll no doubt meet some resistance from the old guard, consisting of Slugworth, Fickelgruber, and Prodnose.

Flying candies, balloon travels, and extravagant dance sequences are at the heart of this trailer, so make sure you watch it. And if that’s not enough, we’ve dug up a video of Chalamet singing (below) to tide you over while we wait for the main course.

Check out the first Wonka trailer for yourself below:

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A second Wonka trailer dropped on Thursday, October 12, 2023. The new teaser gave us a better look at Hugh Grant’s Oompa Loompa, who we now know is called Lofty, and what appears to be a prototype version of the chocolate garden we’ll see Charlie and his fellow gold ticket winners explore in Wonka’s future.

Here’s the second Wonka trailer for your viewing pleasure:

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On November 13, 2023, a teaser was released which finally gave us a preview of the musical aspect. The internet had been getting a little suspicious as to why a musical wouldn’t include any snippets of singing in the trailers, but it looks like the studio took note.

In the below teaser, you can hear an extract from this movie’s version of ‘Pure Imagination’, and it also gives us better insight into how Wonka’s mother influenced his love of chocolate. Honestly, it looks like this will be an emotional roller coaster. Are we even ready?

Here’s the latest teaser trailer for Wonka:

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Where can I watch Wonka?

Wonka will be a theatrically exclusive movie, so when it’s released in December 2023, you’ll have to head to the theater for a big screen experience.

After that, it will likely end up on Max (the recently rechristened HBO Max). But when it comes to candy, the bigger the better, so why skip out on a big cinematic experience?

In the meantime, you can watch Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp’s respective takes on the amazing chocolatier in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory and Charlie & The Chocolate Factory: both films are available to buy or rent on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV Plus, as well as being on Max.

You can also check out Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical on Netflix — but read our Matilda review first so you know what to expect.

Wonka release date: Timothée Chalamet’s as Willy

What songs will the Wonka movie have?

The full soundtrack hasn’t been released, but we know the Wonka movie will include the classic song ‘Pure Imagination’, and have at least one original number.

The ‘Pure Imagination’ rendition can be heard in the most recent trailer. This is one of the most iconic numbers from the original movie, so it’s no surprise they’ve chosen to include it.

We know, thanks to Warner Bros’ awards site, that there’s one original song called ‘A World of Your Own’, which has already been submitted for awards consideration.

With the original Chocolate Factory movies taking great delight in including several musical numbers sung by the Oompa-Loompas, we fully expect Hugh Grant to have a number at some point, too.

That’s Wonka! Why not read our guide detailing all the new movies coming our way? We’ve got Dune 2 and Deadpool 3 all covered for you. Or you can broaden your cinematic horizons with our picks for the best movies of all time.

Elsewhere, for more family fun, check out our lists of the best Disney movies and best animated movies. And since Wonka is coming out in December, why not take a look at our list of the best Christmas movies too? On top of all this, resident Wonka expert Tom Beasley says Wonka looks fun, but we want this bonkers Roald Dahl movie even more.