I’m still not entirely sure how to feel about the upcoming prequel to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, if you prefer). I can’t deny that I’ve never been at least a little bit curious about how the whimsical chocolatier assembled his empire of sweets powered by bizarre technology and techniques, but it’s also a beloved story associated with my earliest memories of Gene Wilder. If they want to make this setup work, they’re gonna need to get some exceptionally talented actors on board. We already knew about Timothee Chalamet in the role of Wonka, but according to a Deadline report, he’ll be joined by another accomplished actor.
Keegan-Michael Key will be starring in Wonka alongside Chalamet, though his precise role in the film has not been disclosed. Warner Bros. has been keeping the vast majority of the script tightly under wraps, so we can’t even speculate on whom Key could be playing, but whatever role he assumes, it’s a safe bet he’ll meet it with aplomb.
While known primarily as one half of the comedic duo of Key and Peele, Key has cut his teeth on all manner of film and television projects, from live-action roles in Schmigadoon! and The Prom to voice roles in The Lego Movie, Toy Story 4 and the remake of The Lion King.
Keegan-Michael Key has been cast opposite Timothée Chalamet in #Wonka, a musical based on the early life of Willy Wonka.
— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) September 13, 2021
Meanwhile, Wonka is being directed by Paul King, who previously directed the Paddington films. David Heyman will be working as the film’s producer, and has divulged that production is set to begin in earnest this month. As for when we’ll actually see the movie, it’ll be a while; Wonka is currently projected for a theatrical release on March 17, 2023.