THE SECOND TRAILER for Paul King’s Wonka dropped today, and there’s a lot to take in from the riot of chocolate, charm, and cartels that feature throughout. This time around, Wonka’s career as a young chocolatier is under threat, and it’s clear there’s going to be more to the film than chocolate covered chaos. We’re offered plenty of leading man Timothée Chalamet, of course, as the charmingly nutty Wonka himself, but I’m sorry to say that he was absolutely upstaged by a tiny, orange, potbellied Hugh Grant.
That’s right: Hugh Grant is an Oompa Loompa. I repeat, Hugh Grant is an Oompa Loompa. I love this film already.
It’s certainly a different role for Chalamet, who in the past has played more broody, devilishly handsome types. In Wonka, he’s definitely a little… unhinged.
“I’m making chocolate, of course,” he tells his right-hand gal, who is for some reason named Noodle, in the trailer. “How do you like it — dark? White? Nutty? Absolutely insane?” he quips with a little bobble of his head. Chalamet’s Wonka is a daydreaming, fast-talking, hand-gesturing one — he’s certainly leaning into the camp style of the character which was first debuted by Gene Wilder in the 1971 Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. It’s a fine line for a leading man to walk — will it give us the ick? We’ll just have to find out.
Read on for everything we know about the chocolate-covered (literally, but more on that below) film thus far.
Is the chocolate in Wonka real?
There’s no CGI or movie magic here — the chocolate in Wonka is totally real. Director Paul King told People that they had an on-set chocolatier who was responsible for the delicious treats Wonka spruiks throughout the film.
“She made these incredible concoctions, and we would taste them. They tasted much better than they needed to, because obviously actors are good at pretending things, but the miracle was they tasted every bit as good as they looked,” he shared.
One scene in the film sees Wonka and right-hand-gal Noodle “in this huge vat of chocolate,” King noted. “We actually made an enormous vat of hot chocolate — not scalding, just warm hot chocolate for them to immerse themselves in. So there was there a lot of chocolate around.”
And as for how much chocolate everyone on-set consumed? A “great deal, which was a wonderful thing,” King said, adding “it’s a miracle that Timmy remains so slim and handsome. I’m trying to fatten him up, but it’s hard to do.”
Is Wonka a prequel?
Yes, Wonka is a prequel focusing on the rise of the infamous candy maker — no Charlie’s here.
“The film tells the story of a young Willy Wonka, who comes to an uptight European centre of chocolate with all these very fancy chocolate shops that sell candy at sharply inflated prices,” director Paul King told People.
“He brings this riot of colour and energy and the future, and a lot more joyous sense of it. We try to evoke that through these kind of dance sequences there,” he continued. “And there’s a couple of really big numbers in there, and there’s an amazing sort of zero-gravity set piece [and] some really lovely numbers.”
You get a little tease of those big dance numbers in the trailer — including a glimpse of Hugh Grant singing the iconic Oompa Loompa song — as well as that promised colour and energy. King also directed the critically acclaimed and universally adored films Paddington and Paddington 2, which offer a similar quirkiness and charm that we’re excited to see translated into the world of Wonka. He’s joined by producer David Heyman, who worked on Barbie and Harry Potter — so expect a little magic, too.
Who stars in Wonka?
The trailer also promises us our first look at the film’s supporting characters and antagonists. Sally Hawkins plays Wonka’s beloved mother, while Olivia Colman appears to be some sort of conniving Cockney innkeeper. We’re also warned of a nasty-looking “Chocolate Cartel,” of whom Matt Lucas’ character is a snobbish part. Elsewhere in the trailer, we see Rowan Atkinson (as a … priest?) and Keegan Michael-Key as a cop.
Related: Sing for us, Timothée Chalamet
Will Oompa Loompas be in Wonka?
I’m so glad you asked. Yes, Oompa Loompas’ will indeed appear in Wonka: In fact, the second trailer gives us a much closer look at them, and they appear to be even tinier than in the previous film iterations of the story. Oh, and as we mentioned — the most prominent one we’ve seen is played by Hugh Grant. Yes, that Hugh Grant, the heartthrob star of many a ’90s rom-com. In the trailer, dressed in a teeny purple tweed suit and sporting bushy white eyebrows and perfectly coiffed acid green hair, he doesn’t appear to be a particularly happy chap when first meeting Chalamet’s Wonka.
“I will have you know that I am a perfectly respectable size for an Oompa Loompa. Allow me to refresh your memory,” he says, before whipping out a tiny flute (possibly from his voluminous pantaloons) and breaking into an odd little polka style dance. “I’ve started dancing now. Once we’ve started we can’t stop.”
Later in the trailer, Grant breaks out a spirited rendition of the Oompa Loompa song and he certainly does it justice. Give this man an Oscar already!
It’s unclear just yet whether Wonka will take the 1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory route and cast multiple actors as Oompa Loompas, or if they’ll use CGI to create lots of identical Oompas, à la the 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film. Either way, surely we’re in for a treat — perhaps if they go with the former there’ll be even more unexpected Oompa cameos? And if they choose the latter, we just get an entire sea of tiny orange Grants, which would be just so silly and instantly iconic.
Is Wonka out yet?
Not just yet! Wonka has a theatrical release date of December 15, 2023 — just in time for our chocolate binge Christmas.