Wonka prequel adds Olivia Colman, Rowan Atkinson, and Sally Hawkins to cast

Olivia Colman, Sally Hawkins, and Rowan Atkinson
(Image credit: Netflix/StudioCanal/Universal Pictures)

Wonka has added Olivia Colman, Rowan Atkinson, and Sally Hawkins to its cast.

Production has kicked off on the prequel film, which will explore the life of the famous chocolatier before his massive success – and is also a musical, with original songs penned by The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon. Timothée Chalamet will play the titular character Willy Wonka. 

There's no word yet on who Colman, Atkinson, and Hawkins are playing, but considering Atkinson's comedic chops (he'll forever be Mr. Bean to us), we can hazard a guess that he'll be bringing some laughs to the film. Hawkins previously worked with director Paul King on Paddington and Paddington 2, while Colman just won an Emmy for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix's The Crown. 

The casting announcement describes the film as delving into the "vivid, mythical beginnings of the imaginative young inventor before he becomes the renowned scrumdiddlyumptious Mozart of chocolate," which sounds suitably Dahl-esque (H/T The Hollywood Reporter).

King co-wrote the script with his Paddington 2 collaborator Simon Farnaby, who also has a role in the film. The rest of the cast includes Matt Lucas, Keegan-Michael Key, Tom Davis, Rich Fulcher, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, and Ellie White.

We'll be seeing a lot more Dahl adaptations in the coming years after Netflix's acquisition of The Roald Dahl Story Company. The streamer already has a Matilda musical in the works, with Emma Thompson playing Miss Trunchball, and No Time to Die's Lashana Lynch appearing as Miss Honey.

While we wait for more Wonka news, check out our guide to all of 2021's upcoming major movie release dates.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.