Timothée Chalamet has revealed that neither his sweet tooth nor Roald Dahl’s novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, were deciding factors in his decision to take up the mantle of “The Amazing Chocolatier” in the upcoming Wonka. It was the opportunity to present a more optimistic version of the iconic character.

Timothy Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Dune: Part 2 (2023), Warner Bros. Pictures

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Produced by Warner Bros. and based on Roald Dahl’s classic novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Wonka is the musical origin story of world’s most famous chocolatier Willy Wonka.

As reported by The A.V. Club, Chalamet explained on the Cinemacon stage how his version of Willy Wonka differs from the one the late Gene Wilder played in the 1971 film, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, revealing that his version is more optimistic.

Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) shows his guest a world of pure imagination in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Warner Bros. Pictures

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“The Willy Wonka films have been hugely inspiring. I grew up on them, and this felt like an opportunity to present Willy as the optimistic, youthful, hopeful figure,” the actor gushed, before explaining what the driving factor behind his decision to play the role was.

“Gene Wilder grows into this sort of cynical version,” Chalamet went on to acknowledge. “This is a Willy that is full of joy and optimism and hope and a desire to become the greatest chocolatier of all time.”

Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) witnesses as the Herald of Change (Benjamin Clementine) arrives at Caladan in Dune (2021), Warner Bros. Pictures

Speaking to Vogue magazine, the Oscar nominated actor confessed spreading a positive message was his true motivation for taking on the role of Willy Wonka, specifically noting that his portrayal of the chocolatier will bring joy to younger audiences.

Interestingly, the Dune star also hopes that his optimistic Willy Wonka can help audiences deal better with the world’s current political climate.

“To work on something that will have an uncynical young audience, that was just a big joy. That’s why I was drawn to it,” he told the outlet. “In a time and climate of intense political rhetoric, when there’s so much bad news all the time, this is hopefully going to be a piece of chocolate.”

Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) introduces his guest to his secret Everlasting Gobstoppers in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Warner Bros. Pictures

Wonka is set to open the gates to his factory on December 15th.

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