I’ll be the first to admit that I was ready to trash Wonka. I grew up with The 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. And I was terrified by Johnny Depp‘s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Sorry not sorry, but the guy who played the oompa loompa has terrified me since The X-Files due to Deep Roy‘s intense stare. So color me surprised that when the trailer dropped for the movie starring Timothée Chalamet…It actually looked good.
From what we can tell from the trailer, Willy Wonka is just a kid who wants to create and who keeps his mother’s spirit close to his heart and no matter where he goes. That pulls away from the terrifying death movie and the “am I high?” Of the Gene Wilder one. It’s giving Mary Poppins with a touch of Peter Pan and the whimsical aspect of the 1971 film. Stir it together with the director being Paul King, Who directed the iconic films Paddington and Paddington 2, and Sally Hawkins as Wonka’s mom, and I’m ready.
Even the supporting cast, which includes Calah Lane and Keegan-Michael Key, looks amazing and doesn’t feel like they’re being drowned out by the grandiose nature of Wonka. If anything, he just wants to keep his promises and make people happy. If there’s a little bit of creation and magic along the way, that’s good. But he seems to be a man of integrity who is slightly neurospicy. And again, can’t believe that I’m saying this, it looks really really good and like something I wouldn’t mind spending my time watching.
Now to the silliest part of any Wonka production: the oompa loompas. We get a brief glimpse of the oompa loompas at the end of the official trailer and color me surprised that they are being played by Hugh Grant. Admittedly it is slightly disturbing to see a green little version of him. But you can’t help but stare in wonder at the absurdity of him starting to dance and not being able to stop himself. It leans into the fact that this movie knows that it’s kind of ridiculous, but that it carries heart.
Watch the trailer below:
Wonka hits theaters on December 15, 2023.