willy wonka

Why Do We Keep Remaking This Movie?

Meet your new Willy Wonka … Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images, Everett Collection

Every couple of years, Warner Bros. is contractually obligated to drag moviegoers back to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory; I have no other theories that explain why the studio plans to revisit this story for a third time, yet here we are. According to Deadline, Timothée Chalamet “is ready to head to a world of pure imagination” in a forthcoming reboot, simply entitled Wonka. He will reportedly star as a younger version of the eponymous confectioner, while the plot will follow “his adventures prior to opening the world’s most famous chocolate factory.” Personally I am not so sure about this!

For starters, there are so many other movies — thousands upon thousands of movies — that have never been awarded a single reboot if they are lucky enough even to have been made at all. But instead we are dumping money into doing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a third time? Seems a little gratuitous to me!! And then, the time period Wonka will purportedly cover gives me pause, as I fear those adventures may involve the discovery and subsequent kidnapping/enslavement of the Oompa-Loompas. In Roald Dahl’s original book, the Oompa-Loompas were Black and came from Africa; after the NAACP pointed out to the author that this was pretty racist, Dahl changed his depiction but did not change the fact that his self-righteous protagonist removed the Oompa-Loompas from Loompaland and installed them in his factory, where they work nonstop for literal beans. (Their beloved cocoa beans, but still: Unionize the Oompa-Loompas.) As stated, I have reservations.

According to Deadline, very little is known about the plot, save for that the characters will be based on those Dahl wrote and Charlie Bucket won’t be among them. Also, Wonka will reportedly be a musical andwill mark the first time” our beautiful boy “gets to show off his singing and dancing skills with several musical numbers.” Technically speaking, this is not entirely true — ahem: Li’l Timmy Tim and his math raps — but good for Chalamet, I guess!

Why Do We Keep Remaking This Movie?