The Michael Jackson Willy Wonka Album You’ll Never Hear

By Christopher Isaac | Published

Michael Jackson Willy Wonka

With 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Gene Wilder became synonymous with the role of Willy Wonka. While 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — in which Johnny Depp took on the role of Wonka — is not without its own merits. And unlike the 1971 original, Michael Jackson came close to making a soundtrack for Depp’s crack at Willy Wonka and he wanted to play the lead.

Golden Tee-Hee-Cket

michael jackson willy wonka

Michael Jackson had a very high interest in playing Willy Wonka in the 2005 film, and the soundtrack that was recorded was his way of showing how committed he was to being a part of the project. The role ultimately went to Depp in the end, but it is hard not to be curious what the Michael Jackson version of the movie would have looked like.

The Studio Thought He Would Be Bad For The Role

michael jackson willy wonka

Apparently the studio really were not fans of Michael Jackson playing Willy Wonka. Embroiled as he was in controversy towards the end of his life, he was deemed a poor fit for a family friendly movie. However, the soundtrack he created was supposedly incredible, and the studio was eager to have it as part of the film.

To sweeten the deal, while they were firm on not letting Michael Jackson play Willy Wonka, they were willing to let him have a smaller role.

MJ Told The Studio To Beat It

michael jackson willy wonka

It is hard not to see the implications behind such an offer, though. The King of Pop was upset that the studio was only willing to include him if they could effectively hide him in the movie for a role that likely would not have had him on any of the posters or commercials. Michael Jackson decided if he was not welcome as Willy Wonka, then the studio was not welcome to his music.

Who Can Say Say Say If We’ll Ever Hear The Soundtrack

Twenty years later, it seems pretty clear that the soundtrack Jackson made for the film probably is never going to be released. The thought that perhaps somewhere floating around out there are unreleased songs by this legendary musician that the world will never hear has to be torture to Jackson’s fans. Even if Michael Jackson had not performed well in the lead role as Willy Wonka, maybe it still would have been worth it for the songs alone.

Johnny Depp Beat Out A Lot Of Smooth Criminals

Still, hopefully Jackson did not feel too horribly snubbed. Michael Jackson is in very good company for other high profile names who reportedly got passed over in consideration for the role of Willy Wonka. That includes Dwayne Johnson, Bill Murray, Jim Carrey, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Robert De Niro, and Robin Williams.

Considering all of those actors lost out only to Johnny Depp, who was still white hot in his career at the time, that should be consolation that it was very tough competition.