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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the chocolate factory poster2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTim Burton
Produced by
Screenplay byJohn August
Based onCharlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl
Narrated byGeoffrey Holder
Music byDanny Elfman
CinematographyPhilippe Rousselot
Edited byChris Lebenzon
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • July 10, 2005 (2005-07-10) (Grauman's Chinese Theatre)
  • July 15, 2005 (2005-07-15) (United States)
  • July 29, 2005 (2005-07-29) (United Kingdom)
Running time
115 minutes[1]
  • United States
  • United Kingdom[2]
Budget$150 million[4]
Box office$475 million[5]

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 2005 musical fantasy comedy film directed by Tim Burton and written by John August, based on the 1964 British novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. The film stars Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka and Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket. The storyline follows Charlie, who wins a contest and, along with four other contest winners, is led by Wonka on a tour of his chocolate factory, the most magnificent in the world.

Development for a second adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (filmed previously as Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in 1971) began in 1991, which resulted in Warner Bros. providing the Dahl Estate with total artistic control. Prior to Burton's involvement, directors such as Gary Ross, Rob Minkoff, Martin Scorsese and Tom Shadyac had been involved, while actors Bill Murray, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Michael Keaton, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Adam Sandler, and many others, were either in discussion with or considered by the studio to play Wonka.

Burton immediately brought regular collaborators Depp and Danny Elfman aboard. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory represents the first time since The Nightmare Before Christmas that Elfman contributed to a film score using written songs and his vocals. Filming took place from June to December 2004 at Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was released to positive critical reception and was a box office success, grossing $475 million worldwide.

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Warning This episode of film theory is not safe for work Oh, wait you thought I meant it was full of naked people Or violence or heavy swearing, right? No, no, no I mean, today we're talking about Willy Wonka and his Chocolate Factory And no, When I say Chocolate Factory, That's not meant to be some kind of weird innuendo. Get your minds out of the gutter, people! Hello Internet, welcome to Film Theory Your golden ticket to a ruined childhood Today's video hits really close to home for me, Because we're talking about one of my all time favorite childhood films; Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Sure, as a kid, I thought Wonka's factory was the most fanciful fantastic place to visit ever I mean, there are mushrooms where you can scoop out whipped cream And eat it in the main building. Knock down some of the candies from that tree Nom nom nom But now that I'm an adult and have people who work for me I see it as the horrendously unsafe sweatshop that it is. So unsafe In fact, that it would be literally illegal to produce a single bar of chocolate out of there. So get ready to melt down those childhood dreams And send them down the chocolaty river of disappointment Because not only does Mr. William Wonka have one of the most illegal factories on the entire planet But what's worse I can prove to you that he actually knows it 'There's no earthly way of knowing' Yes, there is Wonka You've been pulling the wool over our eyes for far too long, my friend And today I'm exposing the grand conspiracy of your golden ticket giveaway Like the nougaty inside of a scrumdiddlyumptious bar So loyal theorists get ready to Come with me And you'll be In a world of OSHA violations In case you're not up to speed with a super saccharine sweatshop That is Wonka's chocolate factory Here's the quick rundown: (*Deep breath*) Eccentric candy maker genius Willy Wonka Runs a Chocolate Factory with SpaceX levels of security 'Nobody ever goes in, 'Nobody ever comes out.' To protect his candy making secrets from his sticky-fingered competitors Who for some reason can't seem to figure out That all you need to do is mix cocoa powder Together with butter, sugar, and vanilla. I mean seriously Slugworth There just aren't that many ingredients in chocolate Maybe sprinkle in some nuts or toffee If you're feeling dangerous. In both versions of the movie The modern, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory As well as the vastly superior original version, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Which is the one I'm gonna be focused on for this theory Wonka opens his doors up to five lucky kids Who've begged, borrowed, and stolen To get their hands on one of his five golden tickets As they tour the factory We as the movie-going audience Get a first-hand look at the unbelievable wonders And hazards that Wonka has littered everywhere And these aren't just some little issues that make life around the factory inconvenient These are Occupational Safety and Health Administration Violations Or OSHA Violations They're illegal They're life-threatening And they are everywhere And here's the interesting thing about OSHA Violations They don't just come with a little finger wag And a couple of demerits on your business owner report card They come with fines Huge fines And enough of them will totally be able to shut down your business for good. So let's figure out how big of a legal tab That Willy Wonka's racked up for himself. 'The suspense is terrible..' 'I hope it'll last.' The first violation seemed pretty small But it'll give you a sense of what real-world business owners face When they're trying to create a safe work environment for their employees. See if you can spot it in this clip 'Hey, the room is getting smaller!' 'No, it's not, he's getting bigger!' Did you catch that one? 'Inside this room,' 'All of my dreams become realities.' You know what else is gonna become a reality for you? A big whopping fine. Code of Regulations 29 Part. 1910 Subpart E Point 37i OSHA says that all ceilings must be seven foot six inches or higher. This is specifically for fire safety, In the event that the exit needs to be used as an emergency exit. But just think This is where we are starting. If Wonka is getting a fine for the height of a measly hallway Then you know that old Willy is in for a long night. Or a long episode of film theory. Next, the chocolate room The centerpiece of my childhood dreams And my current dreams. And the horrific nightmares of an OSHA agent. In this scene You'll see that Veruca Salt cuts herself on a rock in the room Well It turns out that that was real blood And that the actress who played her Julie Dawn Cole Still has a scar from that injury on set Which she got from one of the jagged rocks That were used as props in the set. A workplace injury in the movies As well as a workplace injury in the factory. That's fine number two There are a few other pedantic things in here to find, Including the stairs the Oompa-Loompas walked down Those are under the 22 inch minimum width required by building codes And they don't have a vertical banister So that's fines number three and four. But okay, I hear you, A little cut A little banister A little hallway Come on, that sort of stuff could be fixed in a day. So who cares? Well, first off Who should care is the business owner. Because all those things may be little to you But they result in big fines. Thousands of dollars for small infractions like that And we're only just beginning. Let's get to the big ones Like the chocolate river. First, you have food running through an open-air factory That is a huge strike there The workers around it also aren't wearing any protective or sterile clothing And literally anyone who touches the chocolate contaminates the entire supply As Augustus so kindly demonstrates for us 'Don't do that!' 'You're contaminating my entire river!' Contaminating the entire river, Wonka says As he doesn't shut his factory down to clean out The sweaty child floating in the chocolate So here we have no guardrails No protective clothing Working with contaminated food And failing to clean up those contaminations All of these are OSHA Violations for basic safety With the contamination issue Getting some nice extra scrutiny from the Food Drug Administration And as a fun fact If Augustus's germ-ridden body Did in fact make someone sick from a chocolate bar on the other end Wonka would be responsible for fines of around 350,000 dollars at the time of the movie release Or about 1.5 million dollars In today's terms, per person made sick Since we have no way of knowing the fallout from Augustus's chocolate dip We can't really count these But they would literally be enough to put the factory out of business If they happen to ship those contaminated chocolate bars out That being said, We're still not done with the violations that we can count in this room Which include the fact that once someone actually falls into the chocolate river They get suctioned up into a huge unfiltered pipe 'He's at it,' 'Now, the suction's gutter.' Leading to them possibly drowning and suffocating. And if you survive all of that There's still a good chance that you get boiled alive. 'Look sharp,' 'Or her little boy's able to get poured into the boiler.' So strike for the unfiltered pipe An additional strike for no safety protocol. Moving further into the movie We survive a traumatizing boat ride Which is shockingly one of the safest things in this entire movie This is somehow actually okay. But don't worry We're about to hit Wonka's secret inventing room The place where candy and lawsuits get made First of all, All those steaming vats are violations of OSHA's rules around hot plates in the workplace. Reference number 1910.261(k)(11) "All exposed steam and hot water pipes within 7 feet of the floor Shall be covered with an insulating material or guarded" And you guessed it Each vat or pipe counts as a separate violation So, uh, let's see here We have eight of those Oh and no guardrails again You think you're slick, Willy? This is just laziness. Oh, and there are live bees in this room So yeah That counts too. And last up There also seems to be a complete lack of safety equipment anywhere Unless of course You count the oompa-loompa fabric Mickey Mouse style gloves 'Shouldn't you be wearing rubber gloves?' 'You love the Elton's maked it up here.' 'You know that, oh yeah.' Right you are, Mr. Salt You would have made a good film theorist OSHA code 1910.132(a) requires that "Protective equipment, including personal protective equipment For eyes, face, head, and extremities Is provided used and maintained" In any situation involving food or chemicals And we know plenty of chemicals being used in this room Are well To put it lightly 'Hazardous' 'Violet!' 'You're turning violet, Violet!' The next workplace hazard is in the fizzy lifting drink room Where Charlie and Grandpa Joe float away And almost get themselves chopped to bits by the fan blades At the top of the room. Like he just said Now, here's the thing A fan at the top of a room this tall isn't a violation But OSHA would still be able to book Wonka for negligence In making the room with the deadly ceiling The same room with the soda that makes you float If you read the book the movie's based on Wonka even mentions that a few Oompa-Loompas That they didn't tie down Floated it off into the blue But we're just gonna let those slide Because we're focused on the on-screen versions But still You're an awful person, Willy Wonka Moving right along We get to see Veruca shining moment with the golden geese Where she wrecks up a jackpot of fines You see all those boxes crashing down on the Oompa-Loompas? Well, that's right OSHA has regulations against stacking boxes too high In fact, anything stacked over five feet has to be secured So it doesn't fall over Like, you see right here in the scene So we get ourselves a strike for every single tall stack That you see in the room conservatively Conservatively, I'm gonna say that's about 13 Then of course We have the famous moment Where Veruca stands on the eggdicator And falls down the garbage chute into the furnace Yep, that's another handful of safety violations No guardrails An open chute down into the furnace And again, a violation for each eggdicator So that's at least four separate strikes right there But hey now, we're down to just two kids So how many violations could be left in this movie, right? Oh so many Let's start with what happens when you cover people in soap And send them through a car wash Exposing people to chemicals Including most soaps, like dishwashing detergent, is an OSHA Violation In the highest amounts And they're also on a moving vehicle with no seat belts So that's a strike for everyone Also as a fun side note These violations actually also happened in real life During the shooting of this very scene Where they covered everyone in soap The entire cast puffed up from all that detergent irritation It took days of medical treatment for the cast to return to normal And returned to set So yeah There are actually reasons for all these stupid rules being in place Go figure Last up on our tour We start mixing food violations with electricity What could possibly go wrong there Well, even though they do have safety equipment and no exposure to chemicals Unfortunately, Wonka's still getting himself an infraction for violating the occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratory standard Reference 29 CFR 1910.1450 Which specifically covers labs where this sort of research and development takes place Allowing a small boy to be able to operate a massive ray gun with no safety protocol in place That's a strike And seriously Wonka GUARD RAILS. Guardrails are gonna go a long way here. So are we done with this death trap yet? Almost. Even though our tour of the factory ends We get one more bonus strike thrown in for good measure With our visit to the great glass elevator 'It's an elevator.' 'It's a Wonkavator.' Which has nothing to stop it from crashing straight through the glass roof of the factory. So let's just slap on an extra violation Or three for everyone in that elevator 'WoNkAvAtOr.' And with that our grand total comes to 60 OSHA Violations And that's just what you can see in the movie 60 is very conservative Now, like I said at the beginning of this episode Wonka better be selling the heck out of those chocolate bars. Because every one of those violations comes with a fine But now of course we come to the real question How much are those fines gonna cost? Well According to OSHA "Any employer who willfully Or repeatedly violates the requirements of this Act May be assessed a civil penalty of not more Than 70,000 dollars for each violation But not less than 5,000 dollars for each willful violation" And it's important to mention that these are the guidelines from 1971 When the original Wonka movie came out and was setI In today's numbers That's about 31,000 dollars to 436,000 dollars per individual violation At lowest, Wonka is looking at a 1.86 million dollar price tag And at highest he's shelling out a whopping 26.1 million in today's dollars Again, just from the 60 OSHA violations That we see in the like 6, 7, 8 rooms that he tours us through Now, obviously a range of 5,000 to 70,000 dollars Is huge. What determines Which end of the spectrum you fall on is your past history And whether it seems like you as a business owner just made a mistake Or whether you really don't care about the safety of your workplace So would OSHA have pity on Willy Wonka? *MatPat laughs hysterically* The short answer is DEFINITELY NOT. They factor in things like the seriousness of the violation Which in our case includes violations like Child-sized pipes to a boiler room in the furnace As well as exposing children and workers to chemicals That turn them into blueberries Also a small business is likely to get off the hook much easier Than a multinational chocolate mega factory So Wonka has no case to plead here Because he ships to literally every continent We see it in the golden ticket coverage And when it comes to showing a good faith effort to keep things safe Well, let's just say that Wonka has a bad track record there too He's not even good at pretending 'Stop, don't, come back.' 'Hellen. please, ???' In conclusion. Mr Wonka We, Film Theorists, OSHA Investigators Find you guilty on every count And let's face it Probably dozens more that we don't see in your 90-minute movie. You sir are looking squarely in the eye of that 26.1 million dollar fine Or 4.2 million dollars in 1971 terms. And if you all watching at home right now think that's bad I'm not even done. You see the thing about Safety inspectors is that they don't just show up once fine you and then leave When you get fined You're also given an order to fix whatever issues the inspector discovered When the inspector returns If they find that you still haven't fixed the problems Then you get fined again. This is called the failure to abate And that results in its own fine You pay the same fines again for every single day that your factory wasn't in compliance So 4.2 million inflation-adjusted dollars isn't just a one-time fee It's how much Mr. Wonka would be paying per day For as long as all those issues go unfixed That's 182 million inflation-adjusted dollars per week And 9.5 billion dollars for a year of non-compliance For comparison Hershey's current revenues are about 7.421 billion dollars per year Which would put Willy Wonka's factory in complete bankruptcy in a matter of months But and here's the biggest butt of them all my friends This is no surprise to Willy Wonka. No, in fact He knows about all these violations better than anyone You see the Occupational Safety and Health Act The legislation that created OSHA in the first place Was passed in 1970 It took effect in 1971 The exact same year that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is set And the year that it hit theaters with the establishment of OSHA Laws in 1970 Willy Wonka realized pretty fast that his factory wasn't long for this world Given the way he runs it and how dangerous it is to everyone inside. So Wonka's decision to open his factory to five lucky children A decision that seems to come out of nowhere in the movie 'Willy Wonka's opening his factory, He's gonna let people in!' 'You sure?' He isn't actually motivated by a desire to do good Or even pass his love of chocolate and candy making secrets On like a legacy No, it's to offload this dumpster fire of a business Onto one poor vulnerable unsuspecting child Before Wonka himself is hit with all these fines Charlie who comes out of destitution And thinks he's hit the lottery with his golden ticket Believes he's inheriting Wonka's fortune But the truth is That he's actually inheriting Willy Wonka's massive legal trouble And billions of dollars of debt He's not the most pure of heart or the nicest or whatever He's just the biggest chump And the child in the most desperate situation That Wonka can prey on to escape OSHA And a lifetime of corporate debt. But hey That's just a theory; A film theory And I know that it's a little disappointing That all our candy-coated dreams have been destroyed by this episode But if you're looking for a much sweeter deal Than just five golden tickets Well, then check out our partner for today's episode Dollar Shave Club Yes, I already use the razors You've heard me talk about them And you already know that those things are great But those are gonna keep your body from stinking up the great glass elevator Or they're not gonna get your mouth clean After eating one too many scrumdiddlyumptious bars And that's why Dollar Shave Club is no longer just the shave club They've expanded to everything from toothpaste to hairstyling products So, you know that you're gonna be looking and feeling your best Whether you're being blown up like a blueberry Or sucked away to a boiler room They should rebrand themselves as the dollar look good feel good Club Anyway Just imagine if these children had used one of their great products If Augustus had just used that smooth as silk shaving butter then shoom He's not getting stuck in that pipe He's shooting through that thing like a rocket Buttery smooth like a baby's bottom And tell you what Veruca's gonna have herself a mess down below After her brush with a boiler room of death Well, she can take care of that mess in one wipe With a Dollar Shave Club One white charlie butt wipes And here's the best part You don't need to be a spoiled rich kid to afford it So don't be a Veruca Join the club for only 5 dollars at F I L M T H E O R Y Or you know Just save yourself the trouble and click the link on the top line of the description New members are getting their first month of the daily essential starter kit For only $5 So you can try out a lot of the new products That I just mentioned See how cool they are And decide which ones Are the ones that you want to keep showing up conveniently At your door every month If only everything in life were that sweet Remember, that's Click the link below and you've got yourself a golden ticket to personal hygiene Click it



Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) is a poor boy who lives near the Wonka Candy Company. The company's owner, Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp), has for long closed access to his factory due to problems concerning industrial espionage that led him to fire all his employees, among them Charlie's Grandpa Joe (David Kelly). One day, Wonka announces a contest, in which Golden Tickets have been placed in five random Wonka Bars worldwide, and the winners will be given a full tour of the factory as well as a lifetime supply of chocolate, while one ticketholder will be given a special prize at the end of the tour.

Wonka's sales subsequently skyrocket, and the first four tickets are found fairly quickly. The recipients are Augustus Gloop (Philip Wiegratz), a gluttonous German boy; Veruca Salt (Julia Winter), a very spoiled English girl; Violet Beauregarde (AnnaSophia Robb), a competitive gum chewer, and Mike Teavee (Jordan Fry), an arrogant television and video game addict. Charlie tries twice to find a ticket, but both bars come up empty. After overhearing that the final ticket was found in Russia, Charlie finds a ten-dollar note, and purchases a Wonka Bar at a news shop. At the exact moment it was revealed that the Russian ticket was forged, Charlie discovers the real fifth ticket inside the wrapper. Charlie receives monetary offers for the ticket, but decides to keep it and bring Grandpa Joe to accompany him on the factory tour.

Charlie and the other ticket holders are greeted by Wonka outside the factory, who then leads them into the facility. Individual character flaws cause four children to give into temptation and the Oompa-Loompas (Deep Roy) sing a song of morality after each elimination. During the tour, flashbacks reveal Wonka's troubled past; his father, a prominent dentist named Wilbur (Christopher Lee), strictly forbade Wonka from consuming candy due to the potential risk to his teeth. After sneaking over a piece of candy, Wonka was instantly hooked, and ran away to follow his dreams. When he returned, both his father and their house were gone. After the tour, the four children leave the factory with an exaggerated characteristic or deformity related to their demise, while Charlie learns Wonka intended to find a worthy heir to his factory. Since Charlie was the "least rotten" of the five, Wonka invites Charlie to come live and work in the factory with him, but declines as his family is the most important thing in his life.

Charlie and his family are living contently a while later, however Wonka is too depressed to make candy the way he used to, causing his candy to sell poorly and his company to decline. He turns to Charlie for advice. Charlie decides to help Wonka confront and reconcile with his estranged father; Wonka finally realizes the value of family, while his father learns to accept his son for who he is, and not what he does. In the end, Wonka finally allows Charlie's family to move into the factory.




The film's logo
The film's logo

Author Roald Dahl disapproved of the 1971 film adaptation and declined the film rights to produce the sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.[6] Warner Bros. and Brillstein-Grey Entertainment entered discussions with the Dahl estate in 1991, hoping to purchase the rights to produce another film version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The purchase was finalized in 1998,[7] with Dahl's widow, Felicity ("Liccy"), and daughter, Lucy, receiving total artistic control and final privilege on the choices of actors, directors and writers. The Dahl Estate's subsequent protection of the source material was the main reason that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had languished in development hell since the 1990s.[8][9]

Scott Frank was hired to write the screenplay in February 1999, after approaching Warner Bros. for the job.[9] Frank, a recent Oscar-nominee for the R-rated crime film Out of Sight, wanted to work on a film that his children could enjoy.[10][11][12] As an enthusiastic fan of the book, he intended to remain more faithful to Dahl's vision than the 1971 film had been.[9] Nicolas Cage was under discussions for Willy Wonka, but lost interest.[6][13] Gary Ross signed to direct in February 2000,[14] which resulted in Frank completing two drafts of the screenplay,[12] before leaving with Ross in September 2001.[15] Both Warner Bros. and the Dahl Estate wanted Frank to stay on the project, but he faced scheduling conflicts and contractual obligations with Minority Report (2002) and The Lookout (2007).[12]

Rob Minkoff entered negotiations to take the director's position in October 2001,[16] and Gwyn Lurie was hired to start from scratch on a new script in February 2002. Lurie said she would adapt the original book and ignore the 1971 film adaptation. Dahl's estate championed Lurie after being impressed with her work on another Dahl adaptation, a live-action adaptation of The BFG, for Paramount Pictures, which was never made (Paramount distributed the earlier 1971 film version of Charlie, and later sold the rights to WB).[17] In April 2002, Martin Scorsese was involved with the film, albeit briefly, but opted to direct The Aviator instead.[6][13] Warner Bros. president Alan F. Horn wanted Tom Shadyac to direct Jim Carrey as Willy Wonka, believing the duo could make Charlie and the Chocolate Factory relevant to mainstream audiences, but Liccy Dahl opposed this.[8]


After receiving enthusiastic approval from the Dahl Estate, Warner Bros. hired Tim Burton to direct in May 2003.[7] Burton compared the project's languishing development to Batman (1989), which he directed, in how there had been varied creative efforts with both films. He said, "Scott Frank's version was the best, probably the clearest, and the most interesting, but they had abandoned that."[18] Liccy Dahl commented that Burton was the first and only director the estate was happy with. He had previously produced another of the author's adaptations with James and the Giant Peach (1996), and, like Roald and Liccy, disliked the 1971 film because it strayed from the book's storyline.[8]

As a child, Dahl was the author who I connected to the most. He got the idea of writing a mixture of light and darkness, and not speaking down to kids, and the kind of politically incorrect humor that kids get. I've always liked that, and it's shaped everything I've felt that I've done.

—Tim Burton[18]

During pre-production Burton visited Dahl's former home in the Buckinghamshire village of Great Missenden. Liccy Dahl remembers Burton entering Dahl's famed writing shed and saying, "This is the Buckets' house!" and thinking to herself, "Thank God, somebody gets it." Liccy also showed Burton the original handwritten manuscripts, which Burton discovered were more politically incorrect than the published book. The manuscripts included a child named Herpes, after the sexually transmitted disease.[18] Burton immediately thought of Johnny Depp for the role of Willy Wonka, who in August 2003 joined the film, his fourth collaboration with the director.[19]

Lurie's script received a rewrite by Pamela Pettler, who worked with Burton on Corpse Bride, but the director hired Big Fish screenwriter John August in December 2003 to start from scratch.[13] Both August and Burton were fans of the book since their childhoods.[18] August first read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when he was eight years old, and subsequently sent Dahl a fan letter. He did not see the 1971 film prior to his hiring, which Burton believed would be fundamental in having August stay closer to the book.[20] The writer updated the Mike Teavee character into an obsessive video game player, as compared to the novel, in which he fantasized about violent crime films. The characters Arthur Slugworth and Prodnose were reduced to brief cameo appearances, while Mr. Beauregarde was entirely omitted.[21]

Burton and August also worked together in creating Wilbur Wonka, Willy's domineering dentist father. Burton thought the paternal character would help explain Willy Wonka himself and that otherwise he would be "just a weird guy".[4] The element of an estranged father-son relationship had previously appeared in Big Fish, similarly directed by Burton and written by August. Warner Bros. and the director held differences over the characterizations of Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka. The studio wanted to entirely delete Mr. Bucket and make Willy Wonka the idyllic father figure Charlie had longed for his entire life. Burton believed that Wonka would not be a good father, finding the character similar to a recluse.[22] Burton said, "In some ways, he's more screwed up than the kids." Warner Bros. also wanted Charlie to be a whiz kid, but Burton resisted the characterization. He wanted Charlie to be an average child who would be in the background and not get in trouble.[18]


Prior to Burton's involvement, Warner Bros. considered or discussed Willy Wonka with Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Michael Keaton, Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Mike Myers, Ben Stiller, Leslie Nielsen, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Patrick Stewart, and Adam Sandler.[23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30] Dustin Hoffman and Marilyn Manson reportedly wanted the role as well.[25][31] Pitt's production company, Plan B Entertainment, however, stayed on to co-finance the film with Warner Bros.[8] Coincidentally, Cleese, Idle and Palin (as well as the other three Monty Python members) had all previously expressed interest in playing Wonka in the 1971 film adaptation.[30] Johnny Depp was the only actor Burton considered for the role,[18] although Dwayne Johnson was Burton's second choice in case Depp was unavailable.[32] Depp signed on without reading the script under the intention of going with a completely different approach than what Gene Wilder did in the 1971 film adaptation.[33] Depp said regardless of the original film, Gene Wilder's characterization of Willy Wonka stood out as a unique portrayal.[8]

Depp and Burton derived their Willy Wonka from children's television show hosts such as Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo), Fred Rogers, and Al Lewis from The Uncle Al Show, and Depp also took inspiration from various game show hosts.[34] Burton recalled from his childhood that the characters were bizarre but left lasting impressions. He said, "It was kind of a strange amalgamation of these weird children's TV show hosts."[18] Depp based Wonka's look (exaggerated bob cut and sunglasses) on Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour.[35]

Comparisons were drawn between Willy Wonka and Michael Jackson. Burton disagreed with the comparisons and said Jackson, unlike Wonka, liked children.[22] Depp said the similarities with Jackson never occurred to him. Instead, he compared Wonka to Howard Hughes due to his "reclusive, germaphobe, controlling" nature.[34] Burton agreed with the similarity to Hughes. He also cited Charles Foster Kane from Citizen Kane as an inspiration for Wonka, as Kane is "somebody who was brilliant but then was traumatized and then retreats into their own world".[18] Depp wanted to sport prosthetic makeup for the part and have a long, elongated nose, but Burton believed it would be too outrageous. During production, Gene Wilder, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, accused the filmmakers of only remaking the 1971 film for the purpose of money.[36] Depp said he was disappointed by Wilder's comment, and responded that the film was not a remake, but a new adaptation of Dahl's 1964 book.[4]

The casting calls for Charlie Bucket, Violet Beauregarde, Veruca Salt, and Mike Teavee took place in the United States and United Kingdom, while Augustus Gloop's casting took place in Germany. Burton said he sought actors "who had something of the character in them", and found Mike Teavee the hardest character to cast.[18] Burton was finding trouble casting Charlie, until Depp, who had worked with Freddie Highmore on Finding Neverland, suggested Highmore for the part.[6] Highmore had already read the book before, but decided to read it once more prior to auditioning.[37] The actor did not see the original film adaptation, and chose not to see it until after Burton's production, so his portrayal would not be influenced.[38]

Before Adam Godley was officially cast as Mr. Teavee, Dan Castellaneta, Tim Allen, Ed O'Neill, Bob Saget, and Ray Romano were all considered for the role.[23]

It has been rumored that Gregory Peck was considered for the role of Grandpa Joe.[39] Other actors that were considered for Grandpa Joe included Richard Attenborough, Kirk Douglas, Albert Finney, Anthony Hopkins, Paul Newman, Max von Sydow, David Warner, Christopher Lloyd and Peter Ustinov.[40]


Principal photography for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory started on June 21, 2004[13] at Pinewood Studios in England.[41] Director Tim Burton and composer Danny Elfman found filming somewhat difficult because they were simultaneously working on Corpse Bride.[22] The Wonka Factory exterior was coincidentally constructed on the same backlot Burton had used for Gotham City in Batman (1989).[18] The ceremonial scene required 500 local extras.[8] The Chocolate Room/River setpiece filled Pinewood's 007 Stage. As a consequence of British Equity rules, which state that children can only work four and a half hours a day, filming for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory took six months, ending in December 2004.[18]


The architecture of the Bucket family home was influenced by Burton's visit to Roald Dahl's writing hut. Like the book, the film has a "timeless" setting and is not set in a specific country. "We've tried not to pinpoint it to any place," production designer Alex McDowell explained. "The cars, in fact, drive down the middle of the road."[8] The town, whose design was shaped by the black and white urban photography of Bill Brandt, as well as Pittsburgh and Northern England, is arranged like a medieval village, with Wonka's estate on top and the Bucket shack below.[8] The filmmakers also used fascist architecture for Wonka's factory exterior, and designed most of the sets on 360° sound stages, similar to cycloramas. Burton biographer Mark Salisbury wrote that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory "melds 1950s and '70s visuals with a futuristic sensibility that seems straight out of a 1960s sense of the future."[18] The "TV Room" was patterned after photographs from the films 2001: A Space Odyssey, Danger: Diabolik, and THX 1138. Danger Diabolik also served as inspiration for the Nut Room and Inventing Room.[18]

Visual effects

Tim Burton avoided using too many digital effects because he wanted the younger actors to feel as if they were working in a realistic environment.[42] As a result, forced perspective techniques, oversized props and scale models were used to avoid computer-generated imagery (CGI).[18] Deep Roy was cast to play the Oompa-Loompas based on his previous collaborations with Burton on Planet of the Apes and Big Fish. The actor was able to play various Oompa-Loompas using split screen photography, digital and front projection effects.[4] "Tim told me that the Oompa-Loompas were strictly programmed, like robots — all they do is work, work, work," Roy commented. "So when it comes time to dance, they're like a regiment; they do the same steps."[43]

A practical method was considered for the scene in which Violet Beauregarde turns blue and swells up into a giant 10-foot blueberry. A suit with an air hose was considered at one point for the beginnings of the swelling scene, before the decision was made to do the entire transformation in CGI. The visual effects house Cinesite was recruited for this assignment. In some shots of AnnaSophia Robb's head, a facial prosthetic was worn to give the impression that her cheeks had swelled up as well. Because this decision was made late in the film's production, any traces of Violet's blueberry scene were omitted from trailers or promotional material.

Rather than rely on CGI, Burton wanted the 40 squirrels in the Nut Room to be real. The animals were trained every day for 10 weeks before filming commenced. They began their coaching while newborns, fed by bottles to form relationships with human trainers. The squirrels were each taught how to sit upon a little blue bar stool, tap and then open a walnut, and deposit its meat onto a conveyor belt.[8] "Ultimately, the scene was supplemented by CGI and animatronics," Burton said, "but for the close-ups and the main action, they're the real thing."[18] Wonka's Viking boat for the Chocolate River sequence floats down a realistic river filled with 192,000 gallons of faux melted chocolate.[44] "Having seen the first film, we wanted to make the chocolate river look edible," McDowell said. "In the first film, it's so distasteful." The production first considered a CGI river, but Burton was impressed with the artificial substance when he saw how it clung to the boat's oars. Nine shades of chocolate were tested before Burton settled on the proper hue.[8]


The original music score was written by Danny Elfman, a frequent collaborator with director Tim Burton. Elfman's score is based around three primary themes: a gentle family theme for the Buckets, generally set in upper woodwinds; a mystical, string-driven waltz for Willy Wonka; and a hyper-upbeat factory theme for full orchestra, Elfman's homemade synthesizer samples and the diminutive chanting voices of the Oompa-Loompas.[45]

Elfman also wrote and performed the vocals for four songs, with pitch changes and modulations to represent different singers.[46] The lyrics to the Oompa-Loompa songs are adapted from the original book, and are thus credited to Roald Dahl.[45] Following Burton's suggestion, each song in the score is designed to reflect a different archetype.[46] "Wonka's Welcome Song" is a maddeningly cheerful theme park ditty, "Augustus Gloop" a Bollywood spectacle (per Deep Roy's suggestion),[43] "Violet Beauregarde" is 1970s funk, "Veruca Salt" is 1960s bubblegum pop / psychedelic pop, and "Mike Teavee" is a tribute to late 1970s hard rock (such as Queen) and early 1980s hair bands.[45][46]

The original motion picture soundtrack was released on July 12, 2005 by Warner Bros. Records.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had its premiere at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre, on July 10, 2005, where money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation was raised.[47] The film was released in the United States on July 15, 2005 in 3,770 theaters[48] (including IMAX theaters).[49]


Early in the development of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in February 2000, Warner Bros. announced their intention of marketing the film[14] with a Broadway theatre musical after release. The studio reiterated their interest in May 2003,[7] however, the idea was postponed by the time filming began in June 2004.[8] The main tie-in for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory focused on The Willy Wonka Candy Company, a division of Nestlé. A small range of Wonka Bars were launched, utilizing their prominence in the film.[50] The release of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory also rekindled public interest in Roald Dahl's 1964 book, and appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list from July 3 to October 23, 2005.[51][52]

Box office

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory earned $56,178,450 in its opening weekend,[48] the fifth-highest opening weekend gross for 2005, and stayed at #1 for two weeks.[53] The film eventually grossed $206,459,076 in US totals and $268,509,687 in foreign countries, coming to a worldwide total of $474,968,763. It was the fifty-eighth highest-grossing film of all time when released,[48] as well as seventh-highest for the US[53] and eighth-highest worldwide for the year of 2005.[54]

Critical response

Depp's performance as Willy Wonka received comparisons to Michael Jackson
Depp's performance as Willy Wonka received comparisons to Michael Jackson

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 83% based on 222 reviews, with an average rating of 7.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Closer to the source material than 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is for people who like their Chocolate visually appealing and dark."[55] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 72 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[56] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.[57]

Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly praised Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, writing "Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka may be a stone freak, but he is also one of Burton's classic crackpot conjurers, like Beetlejuice or Ed Wood."[58] Roger Ebert gave an overall positive review and enjoyed the film. He was primarily impressed by Tim Burton's direction of the younger cast members, but was disappointed with Depp's performance: "What was Depp thinking of? In Pirates of the Caribbean he was famously channeling Keith Richards, which may have primed us to look for possible inspirations for this performance."[59] Mick LaSalle from the San Francisco Chronicle found Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Burton's "best work in years. If all the laughs come from Depp, who gives Willy the mannerisms of a classic Hollywood diva, the film's heart comes from Highmore, a gifted young performer whose performance is sincere, deep and unforced in a way that's rare in a child actor."[60] Peter Travers wrote in Rolling Stone magazine that "Depp's deliciously demented take on Willy Wonka demands to be seen. Depp goes deeper to find the bruises on Wonka's secret heart than what Gene Wilder did. Depp and Burton may fly too high on the vapors of pure imagination, but it's hard to not get hooked on something this tasty. And how about that army of Oompa-Loompas, all played by Deep Roy, in musical numbers that appear to have been choreographed by Busby Berkeley on crack."[61]

Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post criticized Depp's acting. "The cumulative effect isn't pretty. Nor is it kooky, funny, eccentric or even mildly interesting. Indeed, throughout his fey, simpering performance, Depp seems to be straining so hard for weirdness that the entire enterprise begins to feel like those excruciating occasions when your parents tried to be hip. Aside from Burton's usual eye-popping direction, the film's strenuous efforts at becoming a camp classic eventually begin to wear thin."[62]

In 2007, Gene Wilder said he chose not to see the film. "The thing that put me off ... I like Johnny Depp, I like him, as an actor I like him very much ... but when I saw little pieces in the promotion of what he was doing, I said I don't want to see the film, because I don't want to be disappointed in him."[63] In 2013, when Wilder was asked about the Burton remake, he said "I think it's an insult. It's probably Warner Bros.' insult." He also criticized the choices that Burton made as a director, saying "I don't care for that director. He's a talented man, but I don't care for him doing stuff like he did."[64]


Costume designer Gabriella Pescucci received an Academy Award nomination, but lost to Colleen Atwood for Memoirs of a Geisha.[65] Johnny Depp lost the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy to Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line.[66] More nominations followed from the British Academy Film Awards for Visual Effects, Costume Design (Pescucci), Makeup & Hair (Peter Owen and Ivana Primorac) and Production Design (Alex McDowell).[67] Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was also nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film, as well as Performance by a Younger Actor (Freddie Highmore), Music (Danny Elfman) and Costume (Pescucci).[68] Elfman and screenwriter John August were nominated for a Grammy Award with "Wonka's Welcome Song".[69]

See also


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External links

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