Timothée Chalamet Views ‘Wonka’ as a ‘Companion Piece to the 1971 Gene Wilder Film’

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Timothée Chalamet is filling some pretty big shoes in the upcoming film Wonka.

Chalamet portrays a young Willy Wonka before he opens the famous chocolate factory visited by Charlie and four other gold-ticket recipients that we see in the 1971 Roald Dahl adaptation Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The Oscar-nominated actor spoke with Complex about how his version of the iconic character compares to its predecessors in Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp.

Chalamet calls both actors “cinematic legends,” but considers his film to be a “companion piece” to the original movie starring Wilder.

“This is really the companion piece to the 1971 Gene Wilder film,” Chalamet explained. “The color palette. The song ‘Pure Imagination’ is one of our centerpieces of our film, the way it is of the Gene Wilder film. So, this really feels like the story of a young, ambitious, almost naive Willy Wonka, before the Gene Wilder version that we all grew up on.”

When it comes to Wilder’s Wonka, Chalamet adds, “As joyful as he was, he kind of got a demented look in his eye that’s almost scary at times.”

Wonka will be in theaters on Dec. 15.