Following the recent addition of Keegan-Michael Key, Warner Bros. Pictures continues to expand the ensemble cast who are set to star opposite Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet in the upcoming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical prequel, Wonka.
According to Deadline, Golden Globe winners Olivia Colman (The Crown) and Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky) have officially signed on along with Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) to join the cast of the studio’s newest Roald Dahl adaptation, which has just started filming in the UK.
They will also be joined by Mathew Baynton, Jim Carter, Tom Davis, Simon Farnaby, Rich Fulcher, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Paterson Joseph, Calah Lane, Colin O’Brien, Matt Lucas, Natasha Rothwell, Rakhee Thakrar, and Ellie White. Further details about their characters are still being kept under wraps.
Based on the character created by Roald Dahl, Wonka will focus on a young Willy Wonka and his adventures prior to opening the world’s most famous chocolate factory. This also marks the first Charlie and the Chocolate Factory adaptation which will not feature Charlie Bucket, which was previously portrayed by Freddie Highmore.
The prequel will be led by Timothee Chalamet as young version of the eccentric Chocolate Factory owner, previously portrayed by Gene Wilder in the iconic 1971 film, and Johnny Depp in the hit 2005 version. This project would also mark the first time that the Oscar-nominated actor will be able to sing and dance on-screen due to the musical numbers expected to be featured in the prequel.
The project has been in development since 2016, with Paddington‘s Paul King attached to direct from a screenplay he co-wrote with Simon Farnaby, based on the script by Simon Rich, Simon Stephenson, Jeff Nathanson, and Steven Levenson. Producers are Luke Kelly, and David Heyman through his Heyday Films, with Michael Siegel serving as a producer.
Wonka is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on March 17, 2023.