BY JACK RANSOM JULY 11, 2023
Thank you to the generous folks over at Warner Bros. UK, we at Film Focus Online were given the lucky opportunity to catch an early screening of the trailer for the hotly anticipated cinematic prequel to Roald Dahl’s iconic novel, Wonka.
Arriving at the Ham Yard Hotel, attendees were treated to their very own chocolate wonderland in the downstairs bar. Everything from chocolate fountains, Everlasting Gobstoppers, candy floss and many more from Willy’s factory.
After these pleasantries, it was time for the main event: the trailer itself! What was shown looked like utter joy, and alongside summer’s upcoming Barbie, it looks like WB have secured themselves a Christmas hit as well. Boasting its staggeringly stacked cast: Chalamet channeling an instantly fitting level of eccentricity and magnetism as Willy, and a cavalcade of talent: from Olivia Colman, Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant (as you’ve never seen him before), Michael Keegan, Matt Lucas and more. Snippets of large scale musical bops and their dance choreography are scattered throughout and the magical immersion of the world looks fully realised in its production design, costumes and props.
After two showings of the teaser, director Paul King arrived to take part in a quick Q&A where he gushed about the phenomenal cast, how the production was during COVID, especially mentioning the level of detail and care that was poured into his vision of Wonka’s world. He expressed how much Dahl’s novel meant to him, as well as the influence of Gene Wilder’s classic 1971 feature on this version of the character (both performance and score-wise). With a cinematic landscape filled with prequels, sequels, reboots and spin-off’s, I can’t deny a little part of me was sceptical about Wonka, however this trailer was a treat and I have full confidence that King and co. could deliver a great adaptation of this character and his world.