Willy Wonka is trending as fans debate who portrayed the character better, Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp. Author Roald Dahl published his novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 1964, which became a worldwide hit with children and adults alike. The story follows a young boy named Charlie Bucket, who lives in poverty with his family, as he attempts to find a golden ticket that would grant him access to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, a mysterious place where chocolatier Willy Wonka makes a vast assortment of amazing candy. The story follows Charlie’s adventures once he and four other kids find golden tickets and make their way into the factory, which becomes a strange test of survival amidst the magical and tasty world inside.
In 1971, Gene Wilder played the role of Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory , a musical version of Dahl’s book directed by Mel Stuart, which quickly became a cult favorite throughout the years, notably for Wilder’s portrayal of Wonka. In 2005, director Tim Burton released his take on the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , which starred Johnny Depp as Wonka in a more enigmatic performance than Wilder’s deadpan and eccentric portrayal of the character. With decades separating both adaptations, the debate over who played Wonka better began to take shape, as different generations had different takes on the opposing films.
Related: Why Tim Burton Casts Johnny Depp In So Many Of His Movies
Now, the debate has been reignited as the question was posed on Brad Berkwitt ‘s Twitter account, spawning an outpouring of responses over the burning question. For the most part, it appears that Wilder is the favorite Wonka, holding strong as embodying the character the best. However, Depp’s performance also has its favorites with fans saying his portrayal was more accurate to Dahl’s novel. The Tim Burton film is often praised for embracing the darker undertones of the character (and the novel), while the Wilder film is comparatively more magical and endearing, due largely to the late actor’s performance. Check out some of the responses in the debate below: Guess you didn’t read the book. The Depp movie was essentially a carbon copy of the Dahl book. Gene Wilder’s version was…Hollywood. — lifeistooshort (@federermusicman) September 17, 2021 Why compare them? They’re both completely separate from one another and both actors played their individual Willy Wonka to perfection. Y’all do this so people drag the Tim Burton version when it’s equally as good and more accurate to the book. — Strawberry Fields ミ☆ (@sunflxwervolsix) September 17, 2021 Gene Wilder. His take on the role was quirky, but when Johnny Depp played it, there was something sinister about the character that made me uncomfortable. I’ve liked Depp in other roles, just not this one. — OpinionsAreOkay (@AuthorLisaMarie) September 17, 2021 Johnny Depp. Mainly due to the darker aspect of the book where Willy wonka actually planned to maim those kids and was super creepy about it that was portrayed so well […]