Wonka | Picturehouse Recommends

Come with us to a world of pure imagination, as inventor, magician and chocolate maker Willy Wonka returns to the cinema this festive season, like we’ve never seen him before.

Hannah Strong

06 Dec 23

Paul King

Release Date
8 Dec


Timothée Chalamet, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Grant, Rowan Atkinson, Olivia Colman


Running Time
117 mins

From the delightfully wild mind of Paul King, director of Paddington and Paddington 2, comes a fabulous new adventure about the origin story of Roald Dahl's iconic chocolatier, bringing audiences along for the ride as Wonka follows his dreams.

The chameleonic Timothée Chalamet (Dune, Little Women) stars as a young Wonka, who travels to the furthest corners of the globe in search of inspiration and the finest ingredients to make his delectable treats. Brimming with enthusiasm and ideas, Wonka dreams of nothing more than opening up his own chocolate shop and creating magical new treats that are affordable to all.

But it's not quite that simple – the city's sweet economy is run with an iron fist by the menacing Chocolate Cartel, consisting of Prodnose (Matt Lucas), Ficklegruber (Mathew Baynton) and Arthur Slugworth (Paterson Joseph). They don't take kindly to newcomers – much less ones who want to share the wonder of chocolate with the poorest people in town.

Wonka soon finds himself threatened by the cartel and their lackey, the chief of police (Keegan- Michael Key), but finds some larger-than-life friends – particularly, a bright young orphan girl named Noodle (Calah Lane), as well as the diminutive Lofty (Hugh Grant) the Oompa-Loompa.

Wonka becomes more determined than ever to use his talents and tenacity to make his dream come true. Together the new friends must band together and Wonka discovers that, although most people he encounters will choose greed over good, every cloud has a silver lining. All you need is pure imagination.

After capturing hearts with the polite little bear from Peru in Paddington and the tremendously successful Paddington 2, Paul King turns his quintessentially British filmmaking style to this Charlie And The Chocolate Factory prequel, which introduces audiences to Wonka in his younger years.

It is co-written by King and his Paddington collaborator Simon Farnaby, and you can expect the same compassionate sense of humour and wonderfully silly hijinks, combined with Roald Dahl's seemingly limitless creativity. Plus, the impressive musical numbers were penned by The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon and composer Joby Talbot. 

Prepare to be transported to a more magical world – one where anything is possible and something as simple as a chocolate bar is so much more. Shot entirely in the UK, with a cast including Rowan Atkinson, Jim Carter and Sally Hawkins, Wonka is a prime showcase for the unique breadth of British filmmaking talent but also takes us on a journey across the world alongside Wonka and his famous Oompa- Loompa sidekick.

With imaginative sets, elaborate costumes and a host of vibrantly original confectionery inventions, Wonka promises to show us the origin story of one of cinema's most eccentric characters in an all-singing, all-dancing burst of energy and excitement. Expect the unexpected in this thrilling original story, and if you're looking for a film to warm your heart this winter, look no further than this.

Just remember to buy some snacks at the concessions stand because you might find yourself craving something sweet.   Hannah Strong

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Wonka is in cinemas from 8 Dec Book Now!