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Keegan-Michael Key joins Timothée Chalamet in Willy Wonka origin story

Keegan-Michael Key in Keanu
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Keegan-Michael Key has joined the cast of Wonka, the upcoming origin story about the eccentric chocolate factory proprietor, Deadline reports. 

Timothée Chalamet is the only other cast member to be announced so far – he'll be playing a young version of Willy Wonka. Key's role has not been confirmed yet. Plot details are being kept under wraps, but we know that the movie will focus on Wonka’s early days before he opened his infamous chocolate factory. There are also set to be some musical numbers in the movie. 

A-listers have taken on the role of the chocolatier in the past, with Gene Wilder playing Willy Wonka in the 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Johnny Depp took on the role for Tim Burton’s 2005 reboot, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

Based on Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s novel, the story of the original movies follows Charlie, a young boy who lives in poverty and wins one of five golden tickets to visit Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory that’s otherwise closed to the public. The other four children with golden tickets give into their desires during the tour and are ejected from the factory in a variety of darkly comic ways, until only Charlie is left and Willy Wonka names him as the heir to the chocolate factory.

The movie currently has a release date of March 17, 2023. Paddington director Paul King will helm the project, and he co-wrote the script with his Paddington 2 writing partner Simon Farnaby.

Key, meanwhile, was last seen in the Netflix movies The Prom and Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, while on the small screen he last starred in the musical comedy Schmigadoon! on Apple TV Plus.

While we wait for Wonka to arrive on the big screen, check out our list of the other upcoming movies to get excited about in 2021 and beyond.

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.