Wonka First Reactions Call It an “Instant Holiday Classic”

The holiday season is about to get a little sweeter, with Wonka making its debut in theaters. The upcoming film, which is a prequel to the events of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, has become an accidental pop culture staple in the months since its marketing began — but apparently, it’s worth the wait.

In the hours since Wonka‘s world premiere on Mondayy, critics have offered their take on the film, delivering plenty of praise for star Timothee Chalamet, as well as director Paul King.

What Is Wonka About?

Based on the extraordinary character at the center of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl’s most iconic children’s book and one of the best-selling children’s books of all time, Wonka tells the wondrous story of how the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker became the beloved Willy Wonka we know today. The film is described as an intoxicating mix of magic and music, mayhem and emotion, all told with fabulous heart and humor. Starring Timothée Chalamet in the title role, this irresistibly vivid and inventive big screen spectacle will introduce audiences to a young Willy Wonka, chock-full of ideas and determined to change the world one delectable bite at a time—proving that the best things in life begin with a dream, and if you’re lucky enough to meet Willy Wonka, anything is possible.

Who Is in the Cast of Wonka?

Wonka will also feature performances from Olivia Colman (The FavouriteThe Crown), Rowan Atkinson (Mr. BeanLove, Actually), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Keegan Michael Key (The PromSchmigadoon!), Mathew Baynton (Ghosts), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Rich Fulcher (Marriage Story), Paterson Joseph (Noughts + Crosses), Calah Lane (The Day Shall Come), Colin O’Brien (The Mothership), Natasha Rothwell (White Lotus), Rakhee Thakrar (Sex Education), and Ellie White (The Other One).

Director Paul King is also reuniting with several of his Paddington stars for the new film including Tom Davis, Simon Farnaby, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, and Matt Lucas. David Heyman (Harry PotterOnce Upon a Time in Hollywood) is producing with Luke Kelly (The Witches) and Alexandra Derbyshire (Jurassic World: Dominion). 

Will There Be a Wonka Sequel?

Even though Wonka has yet to make its theatrical debut, King has already addressed the possibility of some sort of follow-up film.

“I would definitely like to do more,” King recently told Total Film magazine. “And I’d like to spend more time in this world. Dahl was definitely interested in taking Willy Wonka on. There’s drafts that didn’t really go anywhere, and there’s a short story. He didn’t really write sequels, but this was the one book where he clearly felt there was more in the tank there. There’s an awful lot more Wonka story that we have that we would like to tell. It’s not like Dune: Part One where you go, ‘This is what’s happening in Part Two.’ Hopefully it works exquisitely as a stand-alone movie. But I would definitely like to do more. And I’d like to spend more time in this world, and meet some more Oompa Loompas.”

Are you looking forward to Wonka? Keep scrolling to check out the first reactions, and share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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