Timothee Chalamet’s Willy Wonka Movie In Serious Trouble?

Timothee Chalamet's Willy Wonka prequel is going back for reshoots a year after the last round of reshoots.

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

It’s been a rough two weeks for fans of Roald Dahl. First was the announcement that most of his classic novels would be censored, followed by a poor compromise from Puffin Books. Now everyone waiting for Timothee Chalamat’s Wonka has received disappointing news as DisscussingFilm revealed on Twitter he’s going in for reshoots.

If you forget that Timothee Chalamet was playing Willy Wonka in a prequel, it’s alright, and the film has had a troubled production since Warner Bros. Discovery acquired the rights to Road Dahl’s best novel in 2016. Before casting the Dune star, Ryan Gosling, Ezra Miller, and Donald Glover were all considered for the role. No matter who was cast as the lead, they were ultimately doomed to failure following the iconic Gene Wilder performance in the 1971 original film.

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton released Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2005, which pulled even more attention in the story away from Charlie and his grandfather to focus on Wonka’s relationship with his estranged father. Though it’s a good film and was a financial success, the long shadow of Gene Wilder looms over the role. Given the multiple issues Timothee Chalamet has faced over the past two years in getting Wonka filmed, the production might be cursed.

Today’s news of reshoots follows similar news from last year, announcing that the film was going through substantial reshoots. That first set followed the film’s original cinematographer, Seamus McGarvey (cinematographer for The Avengers), leaving the production. While it’s never good for a cinematographer to leave a project, something has gone wrong when one leaves a big-budget tentpole production after principal photography is complete.

timothee chalamet dune 2
Timothee Chalamet in Dune

Though nothing has been announced officially, another delay for Timothee Chalamat’s Wonka seems likely. The film’s release date is December 23rd this year, though with the length of reshoots and then post-production, a third delay may be coming soon. At one point, the movie was set for March 17th, 2023, and it may still be going through active filming on that day instead.

In addition to Timothee Chalamet, Wonka stars Keegan-Michael Key, Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins, Olivia Colman, Jim Carter, and Matt Lucas. Since the film follows the Chocolatier before he established the most famous factory in fiction, while details are under wraps, fans can expect the long-awaited origin of the Oompa-Loompas following decades of pent-up demand for a movie covering the background of the strange orange workers.

It’s worth noting that Roald Dahl himself disavowed the original film for taking liberties with the original novel. The problems plaguing a prequel, which will, by its very nature, deviate wildly from the source material, could be the author’s vengeance from beyond the grave.

Realistically, any delay could come from someone realizing that even with Timothee Chalamet in the lead role, no one was asking for a Willy Wonka origin story. Hollywood is seemingly out of ideas, and if Wonka goes into detail about the Prince’s chocolate castle in the desert, this may be a rare misfire from the star of Call Me By Your Name.