How Timothée Chalamet's Willy Wonka Compares To Gene Wilder & Johnny Depp

The trailer shows Timothée Chalamet’s take on Willy Wonka, which is already quite different to Gene Wilder’s and Johnny Depp’s versions of the character. The quirky chocolatier from Roald Dahl’s book was first brought to life on the big screen by Gene Wilder in the 1971 Later, Depp took on the role in remake.

The first two adaptations of the book chose to stick with Charlie's story, even though it was Willy Wonka who ultimately recieved the most attention in both instances. The new movie, though, is opting for a decidedly different approach. is a prequel to Dahl’s story and will show Wonka’s first adventure, which led him to meeting the Oompa-Loompas and opening his first chocolate shop. Chalamet leads and is joined by Hugh Grant, Olivia Colman, Rowan Atkinson, Matt Lucas, Matthew Baynton, and Keegan-Michael Key. is directed by ’s director Paul King and is set for a Christmas release on December 15, 2023.

Before ’s trailer release, there was a lot of speculation about , Wilder’s or Depp’s. The trailer has now made it clear that Chalamet is playing an earlier version of Wilder’s Wonka which is demonstrated by the Oompa-Loompas design and the phrase “” From the short trailer, Chalamet’s Wonka is shown to be vibrant, energetic, and of course quite eccentric which matches well to Wilder’s version. Wilder played Wonka with a certain mystery that encompasses every version of the character, but it was done in a vibrant and exciting way.

Chalamet’s version of Wonka seems to be matching this style more than Depp’s version, who still had the eccentric, genius vibe to him but it was veiled with a dark, lonely version of Wonka, one supporting his sad origin story. The trailer plays into energetic and musical aspect of the character, with Chalamet portraying Wonka in a cool, confident, and colorful light. It matches Wilder’s style of Willy Wonka and indicates Chalamet’s Wonka origin story will lead nicely into Wilder’s .


Depp’s version of Willy Wonka saw the chocolatier turn from an eccentric candy maker with some crazy inventions into an unhinged recluse, whose past shadows over him. gave Willy Wonka his own origin story and showed his strict dentist father banning him from having sweets or candy of any sort. When Wonka did have candy on Halloween, his father kicked him out, leaving him all alone. This origin story shows Depp’s Wonka become distant and triggered easily by remarks that link to his past. It turns into a wholesome story as Charlie is able to offer him a family, but at the same time, it's a much darker take on Willy Wonka.

had already hinted at how it will lean away from this unhinged, reclusive version of Willy Wonka. From the looks of things, is going back to the cool and kooky version of Wonka, which will help add new life to the character. In doing so, Wonka has created a great divide between the two, with Chalamet and Depp’s versions feeling like completely different characters. That said,while Chalamet is definitely closer to Wilder’s version of Wonka, there's some noteworthy differences between them as well.

Chalamet may be channeling his predecessors' Wonka adaptations, but following Wonka from his beginnings means Chalamet’s performance will distinguish him from everything that came before. Both Wilder and Depp were playing Wonka when he was at the height of his success, so much so that he was ready to pass it on. Wonka in these situations was a man who had gotten past the hardship of building his own company and was now comfortable with where he was. Although Depp’s Wonka was tormented, his and Gene Wilder’s Wonka both exuded calmness and superiority when it came to candy and chocolate. In fact, they were almost smug with their inventions.


Chalamet is now playing Wonka before he earns any of this. He is much younger and more energetic and, although he does have some mystery about him, Chalamet’s Wonka has not yet made a name for himself. All the films have had the magic of Roald Dahl’s imagination, but seems to be adding a bit more insanity to create a story that feels like it's existing in another universe entirely. The musical numbers look to be delving into Wonka’s imagination to create a movie with more dimension. Based on the direction it's taking, will be able to show a new side of Willy Wonka without going against the spirit of the character.

Although is creating a story that feeds into , Chalamet’s Wonka is based on Roald Dahl’s original book character, not Gene Wilder. Roald Dahl’s shows Willy Wonka to be an amazing man whose genius others are in awe of. The trailer already shows how Chalamet’s Wonka wins over the people with his wild inventions which causes backlash from the “”. The movies do show Wonka to be a clever and eccentric man, but Dahl’s book character lays emphasis on how Wonka’s genius helped him rise to his success.

Chalamet’s Wonka, being an origin story, focuses on how Wonka uses his creativity and cleverness to build his empire, harking back to Dahl’s original story. The fast-paced trailer reflects the eccentric nature of Wonka’s character which bewilders the characters in the books. The trailer shows how Chalamet’s Wonka is filled with energy and ideas that shocks and entices people. Chalamet’s Wonka brings back the innocence and pure awe that originally encapsulated that Wilder and Depp’s Wonkas underlined with superiority. Chalamet’s Wonka will be a close adaptation of Dahl’s character, despite being an entirely new story.