A World of Pure Imagination

The end is near. The movie to end all movies is scheduled to go into filming and production sometime in 2004, and I am so pumped!

Stephanie pointed out this link to me a few days ago, and when we saw that Tim Burton would be directing Charlie and the Cholocate Factory, we couldn’t help but discuss over and over who Willy Wonka might be. At first I thought that no one could out-do Gene Wilder’s performance, and that Burton could get away with re-casting him. But then I realized that was a totally unoriginal idea, and not something Burton would ever do. Plus, Wilder is probably too old now.

So Steph and I got to talking. Who would Wonka be? We threw out a few names. Dustin Hoffman (being that he can play anyone perfectly). Johnny Depp seemed to be a strong player since he’s about the right age and has a strange magical sparkle to him. Then Steph said, “What about Christopher Walken? He could even do a dance number since he’s a pro dancer.” My first reaction was, “No, Christopher Walken is too dark for Wonka.”

Then I thought about it some more. And more. And more.

Christopher Walken would be perfect. I forgot that Tim Burton is directing this film. It’s going to be dark no matter what, but still have that certain sense of innocence and magical playfullness that Burton puts into all his films. And Walken could pull that off perfectly. Not that I would disagree with Depp being cast. I would love to see that too. But the idea of Walken as Wonka really appeals to me. Steph agrees.

Then Steph found this just a few minutes ago. Take a look under the “technical details” section. Johnny Depp. Christopher Walken. Michael Keaton? Well, okay, I didn’t see that one coming, but still. It seems Burton agrees with us. Granted, these are rumors, but I’m very interested to see how this all plans out.

That’s gonna be one great movie.

5 thoughts on “A World of Pure Imagination

  1. Hehe, well, all three actors have worked with Burton in film before (Batman 1 & 2, Sleepy Hollow), so either one is much more likely becuase of this.

    Still, I’m not nearly as enthusiastic as you are. Gene Wilder’s performance, in my opinion, is untouchable, and Burton’s directing, while having strong areas, has always had dark details, or emphases that I haven’t liked. It really doesn’t make sense to me, as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is one of Dahl’s lightest works. Some of the other darker ones would have made more sense for Burton.

    Again, we’ll see, but I can’t be all THAT positive this early in the game.

  2. I read articles that said that Roald Dahl was upset be how the first Wonka movie (w/ Gene Wilder) ruined his book and did not connect with it at all. The Dahl estate granted Tim Burton the rights to direct it because he may be able to do more of what is true to the book. My prediction is that it will not be a musical (no World of Imagination). And that it will be Burtonesquely dark in style. While I absolutely love Gene Wilder’s performance, I do think that Burton could bring the text to life more accurately. And definitely with more flair.

    I also saw rumor sites that said there was a possibility of Marilyn Manson or Brad Pitt playing Wonka. Both, I think are longshots and the Manson one would definitely be disturbing. Pitt could do it because he’s a pretty good actor and can get scuzzied up real nice (or not nice I guess…).

    Michael Keaton…um…he just bugs me. He could do it. But he’s irritating. And I connect him with the 80’s which didn’t do much good for anybody except for a couple of really good Billy Joel songs.

    I think either Walken or Depp would kick some booty as Wonka. I love Johnny Depp. But, think that Walken would take the cake. It would also be a great movie to add to his repertoire. I think that Depp might play it a little to Captain Jack Sparrow for me.

  3. See, it’s because of Depp’s performance as Sparrow that makes me think he could do Wonka right. I’m not sure Walken could pull him off very well.

    I’d agree that the original had many low points when it didn’t have Gene Wilder in a scene or when it went all musical. I just dunno if a dark Burton ‘Charlie’ is going to work out any better. I’ll enjoy it if it could be more like the book, but I doubt it.

    The Marilyn Manson rumor looks a lot more like idle speculation, and that was before Burton was even for sure the director.

  4. “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” is a masterpiece! Remaking this wonderful movie is akin to blasphemy and nothing more than another shallow attempt to capitalize on past successes. You couldn’t pay me to sit through a remake of this brilliant movie…though I would gladly attend every showing of the genuine article till the day I die! Yes, I’m the worlds biggest fan of the original movie.

    Violet: “Sequels are a nasty habit”
    Wonka: “I know a worse one…”

  5. I don’t know what you’re smoking, dude. The Wonka movie we’ve already got is really great, no doubt about that. But there’s no rule that says that a skilled director and skilled actors can’t attempt to try another take on the story.

    Let me make this as painfully clear as possible: Tim Burton is not doing a remake of the original movie. He is doing something totally original that will probably be completely unlike the first movie in every way.

    If I know anything about Burton, he’s not going to do a stale “me-too” remake. It’ll be completely different and really, really creative and fresh. So I say “More power to him!” Why wouldn’t I want to see that?

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