Following earlier reports, Warner Bros. Pictures has officially revealed that Wonka, its Willy Wonka original story inspired by Roald Dahl's original novel, has begun filming. It also revealed the full cast for the production, which includes several recognizable and acclaimed stars, including Olivia Colman and Rowan Atkinson. As previously announced, Academy Award nominee Timothée Chalamet (Dune, Call Me By Your Name) is starring in the title role. The story occurs before Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Paul King (Paddington) is directing the movie. David Heyman (Harry Potter, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) is producing with Luke Kelly (The Witches) and Alexandra Derbyshire (Jurassic World: Dominion).
Warner Bros. also confirmed the full cast for the film which will see Chalamet joined by Oscar winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), and the previously reported Emmy and Peabody Award winner Keegan-Michael Key (The Prom). King is also reuniting with several of his Paddington stars for the new film including Tom Davis, Simon Farnaby, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, and Matt Lucas. Other confirmed cast members include Mathew Baynton (Ghosts), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Rich Fulcher (Marriage Story), Paterson Joseph (Noughts + Crosses), Calah Lane (The Day Shall Come), Colin O'Brien (The Mothership), Natasha Rothwell (White Lotus), Rakhee Thakrar (Sex Education) and Ellie White (The Other One).
Paul King co-wrote the screenplay for the movie with his Paddington 2 co-writer Simon Farnaby. According to a press release, the behind-the-scenes creative team for the movie includes: Oscar-nominated director of photography Seamus McGarvey (Anna Karenina, Atonement); Oscar-nominated production designer Nathan Crowley (Tenet, Dunkirk); editor Mark Everson (Paddington); and Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming (Paddington). Neil Hannon of the band The Divine Comedy is also writing original songs for the production.
Filming on the movie is taking place in the UK and is already scheduled to open in theaters on March 17, 2023.
Those perhaps confused about how Warner Bros. is able to develop this project considering the recent news that Netflix has acquired the Roald Dahl Story Group and the rights to all of his books, it all comes down to prior contracts. Warner Bros. entered talks with Dahl's estate back in the 1990s to acquire the film rights to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, developing it for years until the 2005 feature film from Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp became the final result. In the time since they've seemingly held onto the rights and thus are able to make the new feature film.