Wonka’s Screenwriter Has A Blunt Comment For One Fan Criticism Of The Latest Movie

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Written By Maya Cantina

As the 2023 movie release schedule draws to a close, one of the late breaking successes is that of Warner Bros. Wonka. With the Timothée Chalamet-led musical performing rather well, even in the wake of Aquaman 2’s first weekend grosses, sweet success feels like it’s a firm possibility that’s not just pure imagination. And yet, even amidst this tide of good fortune, some potential fans are still criticizing this movie for being something it’s not. 

This has led to Wonka co-writer Simon Farnaby to rebut this very incorrect assumption. Farnaby, a frequent collaborator with director/co-writer Paul King, took to his Twitter to correct a statement that has probably come up more than people would like in the wake of Wonka

Namely, this complaint claims that the new Warner Bros. hit is a remake of 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Which not only isn’t a new gripe, it’s an incorrect assumption. Once more for the folks in the back, the Paddington franchise co-scribe tapped the sign and issued this firm, but polite, reminder: 

It’s not a remake.

It’s gotten to the point where Warner Bros should probably issue a PSA, starring Hugh Grant’s dryly angry Oompa Loompa named Lofty, clarifying this film’s spot in the continuum of Roald Dahl’s beloved character. You can practically imagine it just by reading Simon Farnaby’s tweet, as I’m sure the poor man’s dealt with this remark, or variations adjacent to it, quite often. Still, his response isn’t one of anger or snark, just putting the facts out for people to read. 

Being a huge fan of Willy Wonka in all forms, I’m honestly surprised we’re still having this conversation. That might also be a surprise to my colleague Rich Knight, who actually favors Wonka over the original movie. While I still need some time, and a couple more viewings to see if I agree with him or not, I can say that I was definitely blown away by this young Willy Wonka tale. I wasn’t shy about it when writing CinemaBlend’s Wonka review; but even heading into this picture, I knew pretty clearly that it was indeed a prequel.  

Look, the fact that Warner Bros. hasn’t been marketing Wonka as a musical is something I can definitely see. However, the prequel context of Paul King and Simon Farnaby’s latest confection is without question. In addition to the lack of any of the kids or the location that made Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory the movie that it is, there’s also some pretty clear language in the marketing that highlights this key fact.

Why else would the tagline, borrowing from Casino Royale’s own nifty selling points, read “Discover how Willy became Wonka?” Forgive me, but it’s now my time to tap a sign of my own, as I’m not making that fact up. Take a closer look at the Wonka teaser poster, bearing that very statement, provided below: 

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

So while the Wonka cast does include some characters that are mentioned in Willy Wonka’s lore, like the villainous Slugworth, this year’s musical merriment is not a remake. If you want to make that sort of complaint, you’d need to take a time machine back to 2005, when Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was released, to the tune of that very complaint we read above. 

Thanks to Simon Farnaby’s reminder, that’s a lesson we don’t need to fall into a river of chocolate to learn. It’s something I hope people continue to learn and take to heart, as Wonka is a very fitting prequel to the legacy established by its classic predecessor. 

You don’t have to merely take the word of this long time Wonkarer though, as you can see Wonka in theaters now, and enjoy it for yourself. Meanwhile, both Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are available to rent or own, as well as currently streaming for those who possess a Max subscription

However, if you’re ready to move onto the world of 2024 movies, we’ve got you covered there as well. Take a look at our handy rundown, and start filling in your calendars with all the sweetness you can find.

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