Timothée Chalamet was thrown in the deep end for the role of Willy Wonka – a chocolatey deep end, that is.
"We actually made an enormous vat of hot chocolate – not scalding, just warm hot chocolate for them to immerse themselves in," director Paul King told People, referring to a scene involving Wonka and his new friend Noodle (Calah Lane). "So there was a lot of chocolate around."
Noodle is an original character who doesn't appear in the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory story, but King thought her inclusion was necessary. "Because it's the story of how you go from a normal person into the Willy Wonka we know, it felt like a good place to start with him as being very kind-hearted, very open-hearted. He needed a slightly more cynical person to show him the truth of the world, that not everyone is lovely, fluffy, and nice, and that bad things happen along the way," King explained to GamesRadar+ in our own interview with the filmmaker.
"[Noodle] felt like a very good counterpart to him and I was really just interested in their friendship. Calah Lane is wonderful, and she's able to encapsulate this wise, 'old head on young shoulders' kind of character."
The movie Chalamet plays a younger version of the infamous chocolatier from Roald Dahl's novel as we join him on the journey from ordinary man to bestower of golden tickets. He's joined by a supporting cast that includes Sally Hawkins, Olivia Colman, Keegan-Michael Key, and Rowan Atkinson.
Wonka arrives on the big screen on December 15. For more viewing inspiration, check out our guide to the rest of the year's most exciting movie release dates.