Timothée Chalamet will be the third actor to portray Willy Wonka on the silver screen, after Gene Wilder (1971) and Johnny Depp (2005)

By Jen Juneau
May 24, 2021 12:37 PM
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Timothee Chalamet -- Johnny Depp - Willy Wonka -- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Timothée Chalamet (L); Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
| Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage; Peter Mountain/Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

Timothée Chalamet is the newest dreamer of dreams.

The 25-year-old actor has been tapped to play Willy Wonka in an upcoming origin-story film based on Roald Dahl's 1964 children's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, according to Deadline and Variety.

Titled Wonka and set for release on March 17, 2023, the film is being produced by David Heyman, written by Simon Rich and helmed by Paddington director Paul King.

While no plot details are available yet, reps for Chalamet confirmed to both Variety and Deadline that he'll be singing and dancing in the film, as Gene Wilder did in his whimsical turn as Wonka in 1971's musical adaptation, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Chalamet will be the third actor to portray Wonka on the silver screen after Wilder and Johnny Depp in 2005's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, Gene Wilder, 1971
Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
| Credit: Courtesy Everett Collection
Johnny Depp - Charlie and The Chocolate Factory - 2005
Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
| Credit: Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

During an interview with Collider in 2018, Heyman, 59, confirmed that the upcoming project would be a prequel, set before the events of Dahl's book and the two existing movie adaptions.

"We are still trying to figure out how to tell that story, what the story is," he said at the time. "It's a prequel, it's not a sequel. What makes Willy — when we find him at the chocolate factory doing the golden ticket, where is he before that? What leads him to that place where he's locked himself away? … It's, 'How does he get there?' So we're playing around with that."

Collider previously reported that Donald Glover and Ryan Gosling had been rumored to be in contention for the role of the famous fictional chocolatier in the upcoming movie.

The Sun also reported at the time that the casting team behind the film was considering selecting a woman for the role of Wonka.

Timothee Chalamet
Timothée Chalamet
| Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty

RELATED VIDEO: Gene Wilder, Beloved Star of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Dies at 83

Chalamet's casting will mark the second time he has taken on a mantle previously worn by Depp, 57, having paid homage to his character Edward Scissorhands in a Super Bowl commercial earlier this year.

The Oscar nominee appeared alongside Winona Ryder, who starred with Depp in the 1990 Tim Burton classic, in a commercial advertising the Cadillac LYRIQ that also served as a sequel of sorts to Edward Scissorhands.

Of seeing the Call Me By Your Name star emulate Depp's performance from the original film, Ryder, 49, told PEOPLE at the time that it was both "very surreal and also just very, very sweet."

"I loved the idea of getting to work with Timothée, who I'm such a fan of," she added. "Timothée is really the perfect person to embody that character."