Wonka: trailer, cast and release date for the new Willy Wonka movie

Hugh Grant as Oompa Loompa in Wonka trailer

The scrumptious Wonka movie arrives at Cineworld in time for Christmas, and it promises to be a delicious, tasty treat. From the storyline to the cast, trailer, director and release date, here's what you need to know about it.


What is the story of Wonka?

In short, we discover how Roald Dahl's classic literary creation Willy Wonka went from a young adult selling chocolate in a small candy store to an eccentric genius known all over the world.


Who plays Willy Wonka in Wonka?

Timothee Chalamet as Willy Wonka in Wonka movie

Dune star Timothée Chalamet plays Wonka himself. We meet the famed inventor in his pre-chocolate factory days as he struggles to convince the local community of the worth of his creations. Judging from the trailer, Oscar nominee Chalamet is set to bring loose-limbed, all-singing, all-dancing likeability to the role of the world's most famous sweetmaker, no mean feat given he's following in the footsteps of Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp.

Director Paul King says that Chalamet didn't have to audition for the part. Rather, he was cast on the basis of his viral High School Music performances hosted on YouTube. 

“It was a straight offer because he’s great and the only person in my mind who could do it,” King told Variety. “But because he’s Timothée Chalamet and his life is so absurd, his high school musical performances are on YouTube and have hundreds of thousands of views. So I knew from stanning for Timmy Chalamet that he could sing and dance really well.”


Who else stars in Wonka?

Chalamet is flanked by an all-star cast of beloved British faces. Mr Bean himself, Rowan Atkinson, plays a priest named Father Julius who becomes embroiled in Wonka's adventures, and Oscar-winner Olivia Colman plays bemused shopkeeper Mrs. Scrubit.

Horrible Histories and Ghosts actor Matthew Baynton plays the villainous Fickelgruber, the rival businessman who wants to take Wonka down. And a de-scaled Hugh Grant plays the solitary, uptight Oompa Loompa who agrees to assist Wonka on his quest to build the greatest chocolate factory the world has ever seen.

Click here to discover the full list of Wonka characters.


Who is directing Wonka?

Wonka is directed by Paul King who spun magic from the two Paddington movies. Both films were adapted from Michael Bond's classic children's stories and received acclaim for their irresistible blend of whimsy, warmth and humour. 

King appears to be the perfect choice to helm a new Willy Wonka movie. Like Paddington the world of Roald Dahl, even in origin story form, demands a sense of awestruck wonder and charm that reconnects us with our inner child. 

So, how does one envisage the origins of Willy Wonka when Dahl himself left it wide open? King admits that it was a challenge to bring this to the big screen.

“He’s a very mysterious figure in the books,” King told Games Radar. “He’s shut in this factory, and nobody’s seen him for years, and Grandpa Joe has some stories about him, but nobody’s entirely sure how true they are.”

Of the Wonka who appears in this film, King said: “He’s cynical in some ways, and he knows that there are plenty of rotten nuts out there who need to go down the rubbish chute, but, equally, he believes in goodness, kindness, and hope. There was a kernel of that I really held on to. But this is somebody who’s clearly been damaged by cruelty. He’s a certain age, and he’s had the slings and arrows of life, and to dig into that was a real challenge.”

There are many reasons to be excited about the combination of Paul King and Wonka. Here's a big one: Wonka actor Hugh Grant featured in Paddington 2 as the scene-stealing villain Phoenix Buchanan and we can't wait to see the reunion between him and Paul King.


When is Wonka released at Cineworld?

Wonka is released on December 8th.


Where can we watch the latest trailer for Wonka?

Watch the latest trailer for Wonka below.