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The Wonka Origin Movie Just Seriously Beefed Up Its Cast

Back in May of 2021, we found out that "Little Women" and "Dune" star Timothée Chalamet was taking on an unlikely role — a young Willy Wonka. It's been a long time since the 2005 adaptation "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" which starred Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, and even longer since Gene Wilder brought the character to life in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory." And while some fans think there's a connection between Wonka and the movie "Cabin in the Woods," it's safe to say that a fresh look at the character and his world is overdue.

Chalamet will be playing a much younger version of Willy Wonka in a musical prequel titled simply "Wonka," and the film will be directed by "Paddington" director Paul King. As intriguing as Chalamet is as a choice for the mysterious and wacky Wonka, it's hard to get a sense of what this film might look like without the rest of its cast.

Thankfully, after some earlier cast announcements which included Mathew Baynton, Tom Davis, Simon Farnaby, Rich Fulcher, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Paterson Joseph, and Keegan-Michael Key, we just got news of more people joining "Wonka," and they are some real heavy-hitters. While we don't yet know what parts any of these actors will be playing, each of them is established enough that we expect them to be major players in the prequel.

The Queen, Mr. Bean, and more join the cast of Wonka

With production underway on "Wonka," the newest slate of cast members has been announced, via Deadline. The UK production has secured one of the most beloved British actors of all time, Mr. Bean himself, Rowan Atkinson. One of the buzziest British actors to command the world stage is joining as well: recent Emmy winner Olivia Colman ("The Crown," "Broadchurch"). 

Chalamet and Colman aren't the only actors known for their work in period dramas joining "Wonka." We're also getting Jim Carter, who you might remember from his time playing Charles Carson on "Downton Abbey," and Sally Hawkins, who audiences will recognize as Elisa Esposito in Guillermo del Toro's award-winning film "The Shape of Water."

"Wonka" will be written by both director Paul King and his "Paddington 2" co-scribe Simon Farnaby, and will feature music from The Divine Comedy band member Neil Hannon. The film is currently set for a March 17, 2023 release.