First photo of Timothee Chalamet as a young Willy Wonka: love it or hate it?

I completely blocked this from my memory, but we did hear in May that Timothee Chalamet had been cast as a young Willy Wonka in a “prequel” to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The prequel takes the character (Wonka) created by Roald Dahl and imagines a tragic backstory for him. As in, Wonka-as-a-young-man, plotting to build a crazy death-trap chocolate factory. On Sunday, Warner Bros and Chalamet shared two photos from the shoot.

Thoughts? I hate it! But I hate the whole idea of everything about this. I would have been against another remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory too, just because Gene Wilder’s performance was perfect and it should never be touched. But to take the Wonka character and give him a tragic-comic backstory in what appears to be Victorian England? Nope. Wonka’s outfit looks like something out of Charles Dickens!!

Timothee Chalamet attends the Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing...

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Warner Bros.

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27 Responses to “First photo of Timothee Chalamet as a young Willy Wonka: love it or hate it?”

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  1. Digital Unicorn says:

    This is one of those movies that i will wait till it comes out on Netflix.

    He reminds me so much of Tom Hiddleston!

    • ncboudicca says:

      Yes! Exactly what I thought when I saw the photo. Maybe it’s the period costume or the vaguely sly expression and curly hair/thin lips combo.

      • CarrieVirginia says:

        Non! 😁 For me, he is the younger Eddie Redmayne. Angled everything. They both have the most beautiful faces.

  2. Jenny says:

    He is incredible to watch on screen. I’m sure this will be well thought out and executed to perfection. Glad it’s not a remake. Interesting take on a beloved classic.

  3. MellyMel says:

    I’m a sucker for a prequel, so I’ll be watching. Plus I’ve started to love Timothee. He’s good in every role he plays imo.

  4. Nyro says:

    I love it. He’s the best actor of his generation, imo.

  5. Ann says:

    Well, they gave him a backstory in the Johnny Depp remake, which I actually liked. I grew up with the Gene Wilder one but I was ok with the remake, and in some ways I thought Depp’s Wonka was better because he was more childlike, which made sense. Never mind Depp as a person, I am just talking about the performance.

    As for this, I guess it looks interesting. There is a darkness to Dahl’s work, but not THIS much darkness. He was also a massive anti-Semite, but given his background that’s not so surprising. He was my son’s favorite author when he was little, so that was somewhat disappointing. The costume and look are good, visually speaking.

    But again, I liked the Wilder and Depp versions. I am open to this one too, I just hope it isn’t too sinister.

    • tempest prognosticator says:

      Dahl was a dick. The more I learn about him the creepier his children’s stories become to me.

    • Eve says:


      I hope it’ll be sinister as hell. Sorry, not a kid’s person.

      By the way, am not stalking you. The two replies were merely coincidental.

  6. Normades says:

    That Gonzo comparison, lol!
    At least it looks better than the Depp version.

  7. LillyfromLillooet says:

    I’m no Johnny Depp fan, but I thought he was done a terrible disservice with the weird pageboy haircut and strange non-human makeup created for him in his turn as Willy Wonka. Gene Wilder will always be Willy Wonka, but the story is so great I think we’re just going to have to live with generations doing their own take on this classic.

    This is a huge improvement over the look Johnny Depp had. And Chalamet is so right for this character, great casting.

    • Ann says:

      I guess I am the only one who kind of liked the Depp version, lol. It wasn’t so much the look he had, but I thought the film itself was good. Depp gave a fine performance, and the kid who played Charlie was so much better than the one from the first movie. I also love the way they handled the Oompah Loompahs and the music.

      • Eve says:


        You’re definitely NOT the only one. Depp, in spite of the ridiculous hairdo, did a great job.

        And Danny Elfman’s work with the soundtrack was simply brilliant. I can nearly sing all the songs, being Augustus Gloop’s “mambo” (?) my favourite (useless information but I can sing it in both English and Brazilian Portuguese — that’s how f*cking much I love it).

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Depp as WW was Depp playing the same character he often plays. Mad hatter was the same. And Burton has a style that is really good, but not for everything.

  8. Shari says:

    I think he’s extremely talented. But I don’t see anything sexy about him. It could be an age thing.

    • AMA1977 says:

      Agree, he looks like a child to me. Not sexy at all. I can see where a younger woman might feel differently, but I’m in my 40’s with a 14 year-old son of my own, so he’s not attractive in that way. I also see no need for another Wonka remake, much less with a dark backstory. But I also realize that I’m not the only consumer in the world, so I hope it is well-made and entertaining for those who want to see it. #wilderismywonka 😂

  9. Super Fan says:

    I thought this guy’s been LARPing as Willy Wonka nearly his entire life?

  10. Abby says:

    He has the most beautiful face. Way too young for me to find sexy, but I appreciate looking at him.

  11. LP says:

    This makes me wonder about the status of taika waititi’s two animated Charlie and the chocolate factory Netflix series- allegedly one is going to be about the Oompa Loompas, and one will be more related to the story of the book. As much as I side eye his midlife crisis romantic situation, he’s a gifted filmmaker who’s sure to have a great angle on the “group of ‘primitive natives’ providing slave labor in a factory” aspect of it. Doesn’t that sound more interesting than whatever this is??

  12. Eve says:

    Looks great. And I don’t even like Chamalet.

  13. jk says:

    Stupid for him to even take on this role. Gene Wilder did it first and best.

  14. C Dubya says:

    should have been janelle monae

    • Al says:

      @C Dubya: I was thinking that we don’t need another adaption, Gene Wilder did it the best, move onto new material. And then I saw your recommendation and could agree more. Janelle is the only person I want to see tackle that role.

  15. Ana170 says:

    I like Gene Wilder’s performance for what it is but he wasn’t Willy Wonka to me. Also the movie was boring and the actor playing Charlie was terrible in the part. Burton’s version was closer to the book but I thought Depp was even more miscast. Timothee looks the part (Like the other actors, he’s too tall but I guess he’s supposed to be a young Wilder?), but I don’t get the prequel idea.

  16. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I could just as easily say no more Austen movies or Kipling, Wells, Hawthorne, Melville, Dickens, Shakespeare, et al. Retellings are as dependable as stories are old. I couldn’t stand Depp’s interpretation but I might like this. I’ll gladly watch.

  17. Sue says:

    I‘m in love with his cheekbones so I‘m determined to see everything that features my obsession. And this boy is half my age so I’m keeping it as a secret. I count on your discretion!

  18. Snazzy says:

    I know this is an unpopular opinion but this kid, despite being the big thing right now, has zero screen presence (IMHO). He was the worst part of Dune and I doubt he’ll be good in this either. Hard pass