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A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men

Michael over at Insomnygen wrote yesterday about the Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory remake ala Tim Burton.

I love Tim Burton, I adore almost everything he has made. Let's not talk about Planet of the Apes, ok?

Image from the novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I can visualize the whimsy with which Burton would remake this classic - it's the casting that worries me.

Michael sees Marilyn Manson as Wonka. I remember hearing years ago that Manson was tapped for a Wonka redo. The thought made my skin crawl.

No, I am not one of those full-fledged Manson haters who thinks he swallowed the devil whole and will eat your children next. In fact, I own almost all of his collection. And while he is an actor above all else (does anyone really believe that the persona of Marilyn Manson is the persona of Brian Warner?), he is not a movie actor. I do not think he can pull off the part of Willie Wonka without turning that character into Marilyn Manson.

I'm sure with Burton at the helm, this version will differ in many ways from the original. I expect it will be much darker, story wise and much brighter and gaudier, scenery wise.

Perhaps we should make the casting suggestions for Burton. Let's cast the movie - as many characters as you can come up with actors for - and I'll fire off an email to him, which will never be read, of course. But that doesn't mean we can't have some fun with this, anyhow.

[Here's the original cast for character reference]


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Personally I find Burton too heavy-handed for this kind of material. And if the sets get much gaudier than the original they'll have to issue sunglasses at the door.

I don't know...I found the original story fairly disturbing to begin with - that whole "THE ROWERS KEEP ON ROWING!" scene still gives me the Willy Wonkas.

I'd like to see what Burton would do with a female in the role of Willy Wonka, personally. I think Manson is definitely the wrong route to go if for no other reason that there will be parents that object to their kids seeing the film on principle.

Kerry, have you read the book or just seen the movie?

The book is quite heavy-handed and dark.

If Manson doesn't do it, I think it will be given to Johnny Depp. You know he's going to end up in there somewhere...

Paul Rubens would be a much better choice for Wonka. I actually think Joel Gray would be the best, but not too many people know who he is anymore.

As long as Jim Carey doesn't have a part in it, I don't care.

Nothing could be as gawd awful as the old movie.

The author thought that the original was too dark, but the family wants Burton?


By the way, letts say that in Bizarro World that Tim Burton just does production management and leaves direction and cinematography to someone with real skills in those fields.

Fine. the right casting choice would be an actor who could bring both energy and world-weariness to the role. That's Robin Williams, despite "Death to Smoochy."

My wife cannot stand the movie. I'm ok with it, since I love Gene Wilder. She's not usually a Book Nazi (as my son calls me), but she read the book and hated the way the movie came out. Maybe this one will live up to her expectations. It is a lot darker than the movie musical that resulted.

Still, I'm having trouble picturing anyone but Wilder as Wonka. (Please, God, no Jim Carrey.)

I found an interesting article on the differences between the book and the movie: Charlie and the Political-Correctness Factory

I'm a big Burton fan. I'll risk incurring Michele's wrath by stating I didn't mind Planet O' the Apes, though Walburg was HORRIBLE as Capt. Mumbles and the surprise ending that surprised no one was useless as well.

But why remake a movie that was near perfect the first time around? The original Planet of the Apes is a classic, as is Willy Wonka. If a movie is going to be remade, then it should be a movie that was flawed the first time around that could use fixing (ala Lord of the Rings replacing the memory of that Ralph Crapshi animated turd).

Willy Wonka...Henry Rollins
Grandpa Joe...Peter Falk (I know...BTDT in Princess Bride...so sue me)
Charlie Bucket...Haley Joel Osment
Mr. Henry Salt...Michael Douglas
Veruca Salt...one of the Olsen Twins
Mr. Sam Beauregarde...Bruce Willis
Violet Beauregarde...???
Mrs. Teevee (as Dodo Denney)...Jami Gertz
Mike Teevee...???

Haven't seen enough stuff with kids in it to finish Violet and Mike

First off, I hope the movie is called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this time around. And I hope there's no music. And no scene where Charlie and Grandpa steel Fizzy Lifting Drinks, pissing Wonka off. And no fake Slugworth-as-a-spy-and-not-a-rival-chocolate maker.

That said, the first movie was a VERY good adaptation of the book. Even the replacement of the geese for the squirrels was inspired. It was a better adaptation of the book than the Wizard of Oz movie was.

I'd love for the new movie to be darker than the first and as dark as the book-the ORIGINAL book and not the PC version. The public will hate that though since the first one is so bright and cheery for the most part.

I'll still be first in line to see it though.

Have never read the book, which is an oversight I'll admit to.

I LOVE the movie, and find it hard to think of anyone but Gene Wilder in the role. Marilyn would be a strange version, but I would probably go see it.

I love Burton movies, and had no problems with PotA. And dark is definitely the way to go with this story.

Maybe it'll work. Maybe it won't. Won't ruin the book or the first movie, though. They'll still be intact.

EMAIL: susskins@visi.com
URL: http://www.visi.com/~susskins
DATE: 05/23/2003 12:19:15 PM


Violet Beauregarde...Avril Lavigne
Mike Teevee...the singer dude from Sum41

If Manson is in it, I wonder if they'll work the words "smells like children" into the script.

But not, never, in a million years, "Time for cake and sodomy."

I'd pick Alan Cumming to play Willy Wonka.

i don't know who joel gray is, but i wonder what joel hodgson's doing lately? i think johnny depp would be great. and i think i'm going to read it again. and great glass elevator too.

Manson is exceedingly strange and interesting to look at, but i agree that his acting simply can't be good enough to capture that kind of twisted exuberance. Robin Williams does that very well, but he has played that type of role a couple of times now and i want to be shocked and refreshed by the person in the role of Willy. I'm trying to think of anyone lately who has really convinced me in the role of the extremely well-composed crazy.

any ideas?

Much like Solonor's wife, I've never been able to stand the movie -- it differed too much from the book for my tastes. I thought Wilder was a horrible choice to play Wonka, and the guy who played Grandpa Joe was just wrong.

The idea of casting Paul Reubens as Willie Wonka has merit, though.

I agree - Paul Reubens as Wonka - stroke of genius right there.

Oooer, I've made a pun.

Manson was, surprisingly, good in that abortion of a movie "Jawbreaker", although he had a bit part in that. Looked a little bit like Nicholas Cage, if I recall correctly.

All of Roald Dahls' books were dark - think Matilda and James & the Giant Peach. Charlie is a VERY strange book - What about Jack Nicholson as Willie Wonka - now THAT is world-weary and crazy, man!

GOD! Why does every major character have to become a WOMAN!!!!!!

I know - lets rewrite American history to tell the story of the founding Mothers who came to America to openly breast-feed their babys and eventually get abortion on demand! Yeah man!!!!

I am so SICK of this feminization crap. Guess what, no one watched WB's Birds of Prey because it was STUPID! Chicks didn't like it cuz they aren't all into comic books and well the small number of horny geeks who are can't boost ratings that much.

And here comes the fall season with yet another female lead in a total rip off of Charmed blended with Seven Days (time travel show) called Tru Calling starting Elisa "Faith the Vampire Co-Slayer" Dushku.

I am all for hot chicks on TV, but ENOUGH ALREADY. I have two TV show ideas that blow away anything on TV now or coming this fall and NEITHER have female leads and would NEVER get off the ground.

Errrrrrrummmmpppphh. I hate this world!

michael jackson as wonka
come on id be a gas
if his nose doesnt fall of during filming

then id say
justin from queer as folk
for charlie- what's the actors name randi something

sarah michelle gellar for varuka

linda hunt for the head umpa lumpa

ozzy osborne for the grandfather

elizabeth taylor
just to sit there and eat candy

I think this will be awesome!!!

Bill Murray as Willy Wonka. I'd pay to see that. How about Sean Connery or Gene Hackman?
I can even see Willem daFoe in the purple velvet top hat. Don't really care who plays Charlie.

ditto paul reubens. good idea.

I'm not sure what Tim's issues with female leads are, but I'm glad he indirectly informed me about Eliza Dushku's new show. :)

Steve Buscemi as Will Wonka.

Or Willy.

i meant to mention this morning, marilyn manson as willy wonka doesn't frighten me nearly as much as the imdb front page announcement today that brad pitt and jennifer anniston are producing it...

runs away screaming

Christopher Walken as Wonka :)

Oooooh, Walken. Nice. Definitely creepy and charming enough... It'd be nice to see how he deals with the exuberance required...

I can't think of anyone would would be as perfect for the part as Gene Wilder was.

It seems to me that Hollywood uses comedians instead of comic actors these days, but the part calls for a real comic actor, not one of those mountains of self centered neurosis that is a stand up comedian.

Alan Rickman as Wonka
Any small boy with great big eyes as Charlie

I'd cast:
Wonka -- Edward Norton
Charlie -- Spencer Treat Clark (from gladiator)
Grandpa Joe -- Charlton Heston
Varuca -- Dakota Fanning
Mike T.V. -- Jake Thomas
Violet -- Hilary Duff
Mrs. Bucket -- Renee Zelwiger (think about how skinny she is)
Slugworth (hopefully he isn't even in the movie but) -- Albert Brooks
Mr. Salt -- Jonny Depp

I think that johnny depp would be PERFECT for this movie. He has a very good acting technique. i don't know why but i can just see him as Wonka.He has that certain............feeling about him that you can(or at least i can)see him in almost any part.
i think he did an amaizing job in POTC, he looked HOT!!!!!!!!! It takes a pretty studly actor to have make-up on and still look good!

Mr. Wonka--Mickael Richards..from seinfeld
Charlie--Gary Busey
Mike Teevee--Bruce Willis
Veruca--Jane Seymour
Violet--Leah Remini..from king of queens
Augustus--John Goodman
Mr. Slugworth--Christopher Lloyd..doc in back to the future

Willy Wonka - Christopher Walken
Mr. Slugworth - Steve Buscemi
Granpa Joe - Christopher Lloyd

Johnny Depp, is, according to both TIME magazine and imdb.com, playing the part of Willy Wonka. I just hope he does the role justice!

To anyone who thinks that Marilyn Manson is to dark and creepy to play Willy Wonka, or that the original version was too dark, I would suggest reading some of Roald Dahls OTHER literature, other than James/Peach or Charlie. OR even actually READ the original Charlie (CF or GGE, book 2). GGE is absolutely creepy at times, and deals with ghosts and 'minuses' as well as drug abuse....well, ok, laxatives....but some of the 'little chocolate pills' were prescription strength!

And Burton didnt pick Manson....Manson picked Manson. I think it was in an Interview Magazine many years ago where he volunteered his name to play Wonka, probably long before Burton was even courted to direct.