Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp Fans Are Trashing the Wonka Prequel
The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory prequel Wonka is getting released in 2023 with Tom Holland or Timothee Chalamet rumored to star, and the news isn’t sitting very well at all with many fans of the original movie. In 1971, Gene Wilder famously starred as the purple-suited chocolate salesman in the original movie adaptation Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. His performance is considered iconic, and for a lot of people, nobody else could ever convincingly play the character after Wilder previously set the bar so high.
“Any willy wonka who isn’t gene wilder doesn’t exist to me,” one tweet reads.
any willy wonka who isn’t gene wilder doesn’t exist to me
— fox mulder’s gray turtleneck (@ViciousKnish) January 19, 2021
“Nobody will ever hold a candle to Gene Wilder’s Wonka, there’s just no point in even trying,” another similarly says.
Nobody will ever hold a candle to Gene Wilder’s Wonka, there’s just no point in even trying https://t.co/mjOnWh11sc
— een kell (@dontbitemefam) January 19, 2021
Another pessimistic fan writes on Twitter, “Both [Holland and Chalamet] need to just say no, publicly, saying ‘no one can ever live up to Gene Wilder and this us unnecessary’ and kill the project. Now.”
Both of them need to just say no, publicly, saying “no one can ever live up to Gene Wilder and this is unnecessary” and kill the project. Now. https://t.co/BghahGE9Tc
— Think Outside Your Tribe 🌺🗽 (@DenifLewesa) January 19, 2021
Other fans are not very enthused to see an origin story for Willy Wonka for storyline purposes, as delving into the backstory of such a mysterious character only cheapens how interesting he is. Says one fan, “Yes, Gene Wilder was perfect. But I think the bigger discussion is that the more you explain Willy Wonka, the less interesting he becomes as a character. Willy Wonka should have no prequel, no explanation, no motivation. He is an absolute mystery, which lends him power.”
Yes, Gene Wilder was perfect. But I think the bigger discussion is that the more you explain Willy Wonka, the less interesting he becomes as a character. Willy Wonka should have no prequel, no explanation, no motivation. He is an absolute mystery, which lends him power. https://t.co/1w2MCwwCL7
— Zack Davisson (@ZackDavisson) January 19, 2021
Someone that’s getting lost in the shuffle here is Johnny Depp, who also provided a much-different portrayal of Wonka in Tim Burton’s 2005 adaptation Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. Of course, there are some diehard fans of the Wilder version that never did come to accept the Burton movie, having written off Depp’s performance many years ago. Still, there are also many of Depp’s fans coming out to praise his version of Willy Wonka with so much criticism flying around on social media.
“Sorry I had to say this, but I count Johnny Depp as the best Willy Wonka in the world, and in fact, Johnny Depp is my Willy Wonka, and that’s that!” tweets one big Depp fan.
— Stephanie Brown (@Stephan76215148) January 19, 2021
Another ponders, “Did Johnny Depp not give us a good and accurate Willy Wonka film not too long ago or am I missing something???”
Did Johnny Depp not give us a good and accurate Willy Wonka film not too long ago or am I missing something??? https://t.co/J34682R1NN
— Eren Yeager🐐💫 (@TMightymos) January 19, 2021
In any case, the fan response to Wonka getting its release date along with rumors of potential casting choices likely isn’t what Warner Bros. was expecting. With so much backlash already surrounding the movie two years ahead of its release, the pressure is going to be even higher for director Paul King to deliver a movie that fans will accept. It might prove to be an uphill battle, but as Burton’s movie with Depp in the lead role was a big financial success, there’s certainly potential for Wonka to strike big at the box office as well.
Whether the movie will star Holland, Chalamet, or someone else entirely, Wonka is scheduled to be released in theaters by Warner Bros. on March 17, 2023.
No. Just No. Doing any type of Willy Wonka movie without Gene Wilder is wrong. Especially Johnny Depp or a CGI Gene Wilder
— Jason Sears (@SearsJason) January 19, 2021
Willy Wonka prequel to come out in 2023? This sounds like a totally pointless prequel, Willy Wonka is designed to be a stand alone movie not a franchise! pic.twitter.com/jXw7eb9RwL
— Harry Thomas (@HarryThomasPic) January 19, 2021
Instead of a Willy Wonka origin story why not fund something that doesn’t suck entirely in premise alone? https://t.co/5adNiVbBeC
— David Baer (@X2allday) January 19, 2021
Also: do we really need a third Wonka? I mean, I think we peaked at Gene Wilder 🤔
— Nadja Lirio 🦋 (@nailirio) January 19, 2021
we don’t!! we don’t need a willy wonka prequel!! we know all we need to know about his youth and the start of the factory from the second film that was also unwanted!! i am so sick of this!!
— evil alexis from the evil timeline (@alexisw517) January 19, 2021