Wonka Director Says It’s “More Like a Movie With Songs Than a Musical”

Posted in: Movies, Warner Bros | Tagged: warner bros discovery, Wonka

Wonka director Paul King says that the movie isn’t actually a musical bit instead a “movie with songs.” The film will be released on December 15th.

There are a lot of big movies coming out this awards season, but the one that has everyone still scratching their heads about whether or not it will work on any level is Wonka. The idea of a prequel about Willy Wonka is already kind of a weird idea, but throwing the musical element into it is really throwing people for a loop. If there is something about this film that is worth having hope about, it is Paddington director Paul King, and he seems to have a lot of love for this. In a new interview with Total Film, King explains why he decided to bring in musical elements to the film but explains that while there are songs, this isn’t a full-blown musical but a movie with songs instead.

“The Oompa Loompas sing a lot in the book, and Dahl always uses poetry. But I didn’t want it to just become a musical where people are singing dialogue to each other for no discernible reason. I felt like it was more like a movie with songs than a musical,” King explains.

© 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Jaap Buittendijk. TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET as Willy Wonka in Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures’ “WONKA,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

The thing that can make or break a film with a role like this is the voice of the lead, and Timothée Chalamet is our leading man this time. The trailers have had some of his singing but not a ton, so it’s still hard to gauge whether or not he has the chops for a role like this. King, however, is quite enamored with Chalamet’s voice and performance in Wonka. 

“[Chalamet] ‘s got a beautiful singing voice,” he continues. “The person it reminded me of was Bing Crosby. There’s quite a range because it does go from a couple of bigger, showstopper-y sort of things to moments of real, pure emotion, and he can do it all… I’m going to sound like a crazed fan.”

As previously stated, Wonka is a wildcard, and it’s a film that likely isn’t going to end up in the middle of the ratings scale. It’s either going to work like gangbusters, or it’s going to be a massive failure. If it’s the latter, we can hope it’s an interesting failure at the very least.

Wonka: Summary, Cast List, Release Date

Based on the extraordinary character at the center of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl’s most iconic children’s book and one of the best-selling children’s books of all time, Wonka tells the wondrous story of how the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker became the beloved Willy Wonka we know today.

From Paul King, writer/director of the Paddington films, David Heyman, producer of Harry Potter, Gravity, Fantastic Beasts and Paddington, and producers Alexandra Derbyshire (the Paddington films, Jurassic World: Dominion) and Luke Kelly (Roald Dahl’s The Witches), comes an intoxicating mix of magic and music, mayhem and emotion, all told with fabulous heart and humor. Starring Timothée Chalamet in the title role, this irresistibly vivid and inventive big-screen spectacle will introduce audiences to a young Willy Wonka, chock-full of ideas and determined to change the world one delectable bite at a time—proving that the best things in life begin with a dream, and if you’re lucky enough to meet Willy Wonka, anything is possible.

Starring alongside Chalamet are Calah Lane (The Day Shall Come), Emmy and Peabody Award winner Keegan-Michael Key (The Prom, Schmigadoon), Paterson Joseph (Vigil, Noughts + Crosses), Matt Lucas (Paddington, Little Britain), Mathew Baynton (The Wrong Mans, Ghosts), Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water, the Paddington films, Spencer), Rowan Atkinson (the Johnny English and Mr. Bean films, Love Actually), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), with Oscar winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite). The film also stars Natasha Rothwell (White Lotus, Insecure), Rich Fulcher (Marriage Story, Disenchantment), Rakhee Thakrar (Sex Education, Four Weddings and a Funeral), Tom Davis (Paddington 2, King Gary) and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Paddington 2, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Mary Poppins Returns).

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, in Association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a Heyday Films Production, a Paul King Confection, Wonka, set to open in theaters and in IMAX internationally beginning in December 2023 and in North America on December 15, 2023; it will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.

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