Wonka: An Updated Cast List For Timothée Chalamet's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Prequel

 Timotheé Chalamet in Dune
Timotheé Chalamet in Dune
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The character Willy Wonka from Roald Dahl’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory inspired an eccentric performance from Johnny Depp in the 2005 movie of the same name and an iconic portrayal by Gene Wilder in 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Now it’s Timothée Chalamet’s turn to take up the mantle and give us the peculiar candy man’s origin story in Wonka. Details about the prequel’s plot and characters have been kept well under wraps, but we do know that Wonka will feature a stellar cast when it hits theaters on December 15, 2023.

Anticipation is high for Wonka, especially with Paddington director Paul King at the helm and the amazing ensemble that’s signed on. While a few details could be mined from a trailer shown at CinemaCon in April, hopefully we’ll get a better idea of the characters this cast will portray as we get closer to the release date. For now, let’s take a look at the actors we’ll see in the prequel.

Timothee Chalamet in Dune
Timothee Chalamet in Dune

Timothée Chalamet (Willy Wonka)

We may not have many details regarding the characters in Wonka, but we certainly know that Timothée Chalamet has been tapped to play the title role. In fact, fans have already gotten a first look at Chalamet’s transformation, with the actor dressed in a sleek maroon jacket and signature top hat that caused the Internet to lose its collective mind. It’ll be exciting to see his take on the character after Keegan-Michael Key raved about Chalamet, saying the actor “drips charisma and wonderful confidence.”

Timothée Chalamet has become quite the hot commodity, receiving praise for his performances in Call Me by Your Name, Lady Bird, Don’t Look Up, Bones and All and Dune. In addition to Wonka, the actor will appear this November in the highly-anticipated Dune: Part Two.

Keegan-Michael Key on Reboot
Keegan-Michael Key on Reboot

Keegan-Michael Key

Keegan-Michael Key has been confirmed as part of the Wonka cast. The Toy Story 4 actor has been keeping busy over the past few years, with a second season of Schmigadoon! premiering to Apple TV+ subscription holders in April. He also appeared in the record-breaking box office success The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Disney’s live-action Pinocchio and Hulu’s Reboot, which was sadly canceled after just one season.

Rowan Atkinson in Man vs. Bee
Rowan Atkinson in Man vs. Bee

Rowan Atkinson

Several huge names from across the pond have also signed onto Wonka, including Mr. Bean himself, Rowan Atkinson. Known for his physical comedy and playing bumbling characters, it’s not hard to see how this actor would fit into the Willy Wonka universe in some capacity. While there are many options to watch if you like Atkinson, he is best known for Mr. Bean, Blackadder, Johnny English, a scene-stealing moment in Love Actually and the must-watch Netflix series Man Vs. Bee.

Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water.
Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water.

Sally Hawkins

Sally Hawkins is set to portray the title character’s beloved mother, per Variety. A star of stage and screen, Hawkins is known to Paddington fans as Mary Brown from the 2014 movie and its sequel, and she’s just one of several actors brought over from those projects by director Paul King. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2017 for her work in The Shape of Water and for Best Supporting Actress for 2013’s Blue Jasmine.

Jim Carter in Downton Abbey: A New Era
Jim Carter in Downton Abbey: A New Era

Jim Carter

Jim Carter has also joined Wonka, boasting a career in film, television and theater that spans over six decades. He’s currently best known as part of the Downton Abbey cast, where he plays former butler Charles Carson, and his movie credits include The Little Vampire, The Witches, Ella Enchanted, Shakespeare in Love, The Golden Compass and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

Matt Lucas in Bridesmaids
Matt Lucas in Bridesmaids

Matt Lucas

It’s not hard to picture Matt Lucas in the Wonka-verse, as the comedian has been known to play some quirky characters in projects like Little Britain, Doctor Who, Shaun of the Dead and Bridesmaids. He also appeared in Tim Burton’s remake of Alice in Wonderland, portraying both Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and Lucas is another of several Wonka actors who worked with Paul King on Paddington. The actor also knows his way around the sweets, serving as a co-host on The Great British Bake Off, before announcing his exit from the show late last year.

Natasha Rothwell in The White Lotus.
Natasha Rothwell in The White Lotus.

Natasha Rothwell

Natasha Rothwell was a fan favorite in Season 1 of The White Lotus, and many fans are excited to see her character Belinda return in Season 3. The actress is also known for her work on Insecure, Love, Simon, both Sonic the Hedgehog movies and Wonder Woman 1984.

Olivia Colman on The Crown
Olivia Colman on The Crown

Olivia Colman (Innkeeper)

Olivia Colman is another character who CinemaCon crowds got a peek at, as Variety reports she will play a Cockney innkeeper in the Wonka world. Colman is best known for playing Queen Anne in The Favourite — a role that won her an Academy Award. She also won an Emmy for The Crown, playing Queen Elizabeth II, and was nominated for her roles on The Night Manager and Fleabag.

Tom Davis in Paddington 2.
Tom Davis in Paddington 2.

Tom Davis

Paddington 2 fans might remember Tom Davis as the prisoner T-Bone in Paul King’s sequel, and he’s been in several British films and TV projects, including King Gary and Murder in Successville (the inspiration for Will Arnett’s Netflix series Murderville).

Mathew Baynton in Ghosts UK.
Mathew Baynton in Ghosts UK.

Mathew Baynton

Mathew Baynton, a member of the Horrible Histories comedy writing troupe, has also been confirmed for Wonka. The actor stars in the UK version of Ghosts and won much acclaim as the co-creator, writer and star of the sitcom The Wrong Mans.

Simon Farnaby in Ghosts UK.
Simon Farnaby in Ghosts UK.

Simon Farnaby

Another Horrible Histories vet and co-creator of Ghosts UK, Simon Farnaby, joins Wonka not just as an actor, but as a co-writer on the film. He worked with Paul King on the Paddington movies, co-writing the sequel and appearing as security guard Barry in both films.

Rich Fulcher on Questionable Science.
Rich Fulcher on Questionable Science.

Rich Fulcher

Rich Fulcher may be best known for playing Bob Fossil on The Mighty Boosh, but he’s had several comedic and voice acting roles, including on Disenchantment, Rick and Morty, Drunk History, Children’s Hospital and more. His over-the-top comedy could be fun to see next to Timothée Chalamet’s Wonka, depending on his character.

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith in Paddington 2.
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith in Paddington 2.

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Another Paddington 2 veteran, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith has a number of TV, movie and stage credits to his name, including the films Mary Poppins Returns, Doctor Strange and Justice League.

Paterson Joseph on Lorraine.
Paterson Joseph on Lorraine.

Paterson Joseph (Arthur Slugworth)

With Wonka being an origin story for the famed candy man, we’re likely to get into the history between him and eventual rival Arthur Slugworth, and Paterson Joseph has reportedly been cast in this role, per Dialoguebooks. Joseph has been doing theater since the ‘80s, and has appeared in movies and series including HBO’s Avenue 5, The Leftovers and Law & Order: UK.

Calah Lane as 12-year-old Laurel on This Is Us.
Calah Lane as 12-year-old Laurel on This Is Us.

Calah Lane

Calah Lane will be a friendly face to Timothée Chalamet’s character, per THR. The young actress’ career started with plays, commercials and modeling, and one of her most recent roles was as 12-year-old Laurel on an episode of This Is Us.

Colin O'Brien on Dear Edward.
Colin O'Brien on Dear Edward.

Colin O'Brien

Colin O’Brien has accumulated only a few credits in his young acting career, but they’re pretty noteworthy. After appearing in the 2022 horror Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, he starred opposite Connie Britton and Taylor Schilling in the book-to-screen adaptation of Dear Edward on Apple TV+. He was also featured in two episodes of Grey’s Anatomy’s 19th season this year.

Rakhee Thakrar on Lorraine.
Rakhee Thakrar on Lorraine.

Rakhee Thakrar

Fans of EastEnders will recognize Wonka cast member Rakhee Thakrar as the actress who played Shabnam Masood in an unforgettable storyline on the popular British series. She also had a regular role on the Netflix series Sex Education and recurred on Mindy Kaling’s Hulu miniseries Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Ellie White as Cathy on The Other One.
Ellie White as Cathy on The Other One.

Ellie White

British comedy actress Ellie White is known for her role as Princess Beatrice in the parody series The Windsors. She also appeared on Wonka co-star Tom Davis’ Murder in Successville.

Hugh Grant in Dungeons & Dragons 2023 movie
Hugh Grant in Dungeons & Dragons 2023 movie

Hugh Grant

Finally, Hugh Grant, known for dozens of movies including Love Actually, Notting Hill, About a Boy and Paddington 2, has been confirmed to be playing an Oompa Loompa who, according to Paul King (via EW) is “no taller than knee high.” CinemaCon audiences got their first peek of Grant’s latest iconic character, but no public images have been released as of this writing.

Generations of moviegoers have enjoyed the story of Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory in different iterations (not to mention Roald Dahl’s book), so it's no surprise that people are excited to see Timothée Chalamet relay the character’s origin story later this year. While we wait for more news regarding Wonka, take a look at our 2023 movie calendar to see what else is coming soon.