Charlie Bucket wins a golden ticket to the most popular chocolate factory in the world, the Wonka Candy Company. At the helm of the company is an eccentric candy aficionado who guides Charlie and the others through the factory.Read more
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is not the first film adaptation of Dahl’s novel. Released in 1971, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is the first attempt to interpret the novel. However, the film was not well-received by Dahl himself, thus he also refused to sell film rights to the sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Albeit the British author had authority over the script, Dahl expressed apprehensions about the minor alterations made to the script. He also was not amazed by Gene Wilder’s performance as Willy Wonka.
Two decades later, Warner Bros. and Brillstein-Grey Entertainment approached Dahl Estate, in hopes of holding onto film rights to another iteration of the novel. After a long series of negotiations, the deal was finally put into full gear in 1998, with Dahl’s family taking significant artistic control over the film. Dahl’s widow and daughter also had the privilege of finalizing the actors, directors, and writers. Seven years may have been too long a haul for a film to be thrust into development, but the Dahl empire really wanted the film adaptation to honor and protect the source material.
Perhaps the most appealing thing about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the way it turns every chocolate aficionado’s fantasy into a well-crafted visual art. And everybody knows that none of it would have been amped up without Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s edgy penchant for comedic eccentricity. Of course, eccentricity is not atypical for the filmmaker and the actor. Burton has always considered the genre his arena, while Depp has never failed to pull this kind of queerness off like it is second nature to him.
With his Hollywood diva antics, blinding white skin, and perfectly aligned teeth, it is easy to ridicule Depp in the film for having a close semblance to the late pop star legend, Michael Jackson. This proved to be a long shot for the actor, but he made sure that his take on a well-loved character from the books would be distinct and worth remembering like no other. Playing as Willy Wonka, a legendary candy maker clad in a red and black suit, the actor’s versatility and time-honored acting skills are palpable, fascinating, and elegantly humorous, so much so that it demands his audiences to string out their laughs throughout the entirety of the film.
Depp is not the only one that puts people in high spirits after watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Equally talented and brilliant is his co-star Freddie Highmore, who has worked with him in Finding Neverland (2004). Director Burton was facing difficulty with casting Charlie when Depp suggested Highmore for the part, and they were not wrong in making this choice because Highmore did not fall short in capturing every family’s heart with Charlie. Endowed with youthful exuberance and sincere passion, Highmore showed in this one that ever since his younger years, he has always been a force to watch out for in the industry.
Based on a British novel of the same name written by Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) is a musical comedy film directed by Tim Burton from a screenplay penned by John August, who is best known for writing Go (1999), Charlie’s Angels (2000), and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003). It stars Johnny Depp and Freddie Highmore. Budgeted at $150 million, the film earned a total of $475 million at the box office.