Pure Imagination

From the creative minds behind the Paddington films comes a prequel forty years in the making, chronicling the magical life of the man behind the delicious chocolate.

Article Published on 26.10.2023

Words Aaron Potter

Timothée Chalamet dons the iconic hat and coat first made popular by Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory as part of a new story that spills the secrets of Roald Dahl’s titular chocolatier’s origins. The prequel – from writer-director Paul King, co-writer Simon Farnaby, and Harry Potter producer David Heyman – pays tribute to the 1971 classic and its everlasting appeal. The green-haired Oompa-Loompas are back, as is Wonka’s whistle playing and his general desire to conjure a world of pure imagination.

Set long before he shuts up shop and closes himself off from the world, young Willy Wonka is an ambitious entrepreneur who attempts to open a small sweet shop while fending off the local town’s chocolate cartel, played by Matt Lucas, Matthew Baynton, and Paterson Joseph. Aided by the bright-eyed Noodle, played by up-and-comer Calah Lane, he sets out to make his name, but being successful won’t take much… just creating chocolate the kind of which no-one has ever seen – or tasted – before.

The ensemble cast features a who’s who of British A-listers, including Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant, Sally Hawkins, Jim Carter, and even the Oscar-winning Olivia Colman; each a key ingredient in a magical, musical experience that’s a perfect festive treat for all the family.

A Perfect Recipe

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

Gene Wilder will always be Wonka for most, but Tim Burton's gothic, Johnny Depp-led adaptation of Dahl's most famous book brings a different flavour many prefer. Will Chalamet's take be to everyone's taste?


The story of the Big Friendly Giant and little orphan Sophie, phizz-whizzing visual effects, and Spielberg magic is a recipe for a scrumdiddlyumptious film all human beans can enjoy.


Translated for the screen in the nineties as a childhood favourite for a generationan, Dah's story about the power of imagination levels up in the adaptation of the West End musical that proves sometimes it's okay to be a little bit naughty.


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