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Is Wonka A Prequel To Charlie And The Chocolate Factory?

1971's "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" is a favorite amongst youngsters and families, and a big part of that is Gene Wilder's eclectic performance as the titular chocolatier. Part of the appeal comes from not knowing much about the reclusive chocolate maker. When we meet him for the first time, he's as much of an enigma to the audience as Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum). The 2005 remake, starring Johnny Depp, went into Wonka's backstory more, such as revealing how his father was a dentist, but the forthcoming "Wonka" promises to fill in the blanks even more.

The "Wonka" trailer promises a true prequel origin for the character so many people grew up with. Played by Timothée Chalamet, audiences will meet Willy Wonka as a young adult pursuing his dreams while going up against an uncaring bureaucracy. Based on the trailer, the film will delve into how Wonka got his first chocolate shop and befriended the Oompa Loompas, who come with their own disturbing past. It should be the true prequel the character has never received before, despite all the material out there.

Willy Wonka will be demystified

Before his big-screen iterations, Willy Wonka existed within the pages of books. 1964's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" introduced the world to the character, but not much was known about him outside of his chocolate factory tour. The same can be said for the follow-up — 1972's "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator." That story really goes off the rails compared to the original, with Wonka and Charlie using the glass elevator at the end of the previous story to accidentally go into space, where they encounter shape-shifting aliens known as Vermicious Knids. There's also a plotline involving aging and de-aging Charlie's other grandparents. 

With so much going on, it's understandable that author Roald Dahl never got around to giving Willy Wonka a true origin story. One could make the argument that such a tale was never needed, as Wonka's eccentricities worked perfectly on their own knowing less about the character. However, Timothée Chalamet, who will be 27 years old when "Wonka" comes out, is perfectly positioned to give Wonka the origins he's never gotten before, perhaps explaining how he developed the mindset to torture spoiled children.

"Wonka" gives the character the spotlight, wholly divorced from a story involving young Charlie. It's his moment to shine; hopefully, he doesn't stumble.