Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (film)
|Charlie and the Chocolate Factory|
|Directed by||Tim Burton|
|Screenplay by||John August|
|Based on||Charlie and the Chocolate Factory|
by Roald Dahl
|Edited by||Chris Lebenzon|
|Music by||Danny Elfman|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$475 million|
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 2005 musical fantasy film directed by Tim Burton and written by John August, based on the 1964 British novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. The film stars Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka and Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket, alongside David Kelly, Helena Bonham Carter, Noah Taylor, Missi Pyle, James Fox, Deep Roy, and Christopher Lee. The storyline follows Charlie as he wins a contest along with four other children and is led by Wonka on a tour of his chocolate factory.
Development for a second adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory began in 1991, which resulted in Warner Bros. providing the Dahl estate with total artistic control. Prior to Burton's involvement, directors such as Gary Ross, Rob Minkoff, Martin Scorsese, and Tom Shadyac had been involved, while actors Bill Murray, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Michael Keaton, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Adam Sandler, and many others, were either in discussion with or considered by the studio to play Wonka. Burton immediately brought regular collaborators Depp and Danny Elfman aboard. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory represents the first musical film directed by Burton and the first time since The Nightmare Before Christmas that Elfman contributed to a film score using written songs and his vocals.
Filming took place from June to December 2004 at Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom. Rather than using computer-generated environments, Burton primarily used built sets and practical effects, which he claimed was inspired by the book's emphasis on texture. Wonka's Chocolate Room was constructed on the 007 Stage at Pinewood, complete with a faux chocolate waterfall and river. Squirrels were trained from birth for Veruca Salt's demise. Actor Deep Roy performed each Oompa-Loompa individually rather than one performance duplicated digitally.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was released to positive contemporary critical reviews, with praise directed towards the visuals, set design, musical numbers, child stars, and Burton's direction. Depp's performance as Willy Wonka received a more polarized response, and the film has been graded more critically in the years since its release. The film was a box office success, grossing US$475 million and becoming the eighth-highest-grossing film worldwide in 2005.
Charlie Bucket is a kind and loving boy who lives with his family in poverty near the Wonka Factory. The company's owner, Willy Wonka, has long since closed his factory to the public due to problems concerning industrial espionage, and all employees, including Charlie's Grandpa Joe, were fired. Charlie's father, meanwhile, was more recently fired from his own job of screwing on toothpaste caps, although he does not admit this to Charlie.
One day, Wonka announces a contest in which Golden Tickets have been placed in five random Wonka Bars worldwide, and the winners will receive a full tour of the factory as well as a lifetime supply of chocolate, while one will receive an additional prize at the end of the tour. Wonka's sales subsequently skyrocket, and the first four tickets are found by the gluttonous Augustus Gloop, the spoiled Veruca Salt, the arrogant Violet Beauregarde, and the ill-tempered Mike Teavee. Charlie tries twice to find a ticket, but both bars come up empty. After overhearing that the final ticket was found in Russia, Charlie finds a $10 bill and purchases a third Wonka Bar. The Russian ticket is revealed to be a forgery just as Charlie discovers the real ticket inside the wrapper. He receives monetary offers for the ticket, but the cashier warns him not to trade it regardless, and Charlie runs back home. At home, Charlie says that he wants to trade it for money for his family's betterment. After a pep talk from Grandpa George, however, he decides to keep it and brings Grandpa Joe to accompany him on the tour.
Charlie and the other ticket holders are greeted outside the factory by Wonka, who then leads them into the facility. Individual character flaws cause the other four children to give in to temptation, resulting in their elimination from the tour while Wonka's new employees, the Oompa-Loompas, sing a song of morality after each. Meanwhile, Wonka reminisces on his troubled past and how his dentist father, Wilbur, strictly forbade him from consuming candy due to potential dental risks. After sneaking a piece of candy, Wonka instantly became hooked and ran away from home to follow his dreams. When he returned, however, both his father and their house were gone. After the tour, the four eliminated children leave the factory with an exaggerated characteristic or deformity related to their elimination while Charlie learns that Wonka, now approaching retirement, intended to find a worthy heir. Since Charlie was the "least rotten" of the five, Wonka invites Charlie to come live and work in the factory with him, provided that he leave his family behind. Charlie declines, as his family is the most important thing in his life.
As Charlie and his family live contently, Wonka becomes despondent, causing his company and sales to decline. He eventually turns to Charlie for advice, and he decides to help Wonka reconcile with his estranged father Wilbur. During the reunion, Charlie notices newspaper clippings of Wonka's success which Wilbur collected while Wonka realizes the value of family as he and Wilbur finally reconcile. Afterwards, Wonka allows Charlie and his family to move into the factory together.
- Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka
- Blair Dunlop as Young Willy Wonka
- Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket
- David Kelly as Grandpa Joe
- Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Bucket
- Noah Taylor as Mr. Bucket
- Missi Pyle as Mrs. Beauregarde
- James Fox as Mr. Salt
- Deep Roy as Oompa-Loompas (with vocal work by Danny Elfman)
- Christopher Lee as Dr. Wilbur Wonka
- Adam Godley as Mr. Teavee
- Franziska Troegner as Mrs. Gloop
- AnnaSophia Robb as Violet Beauregarde
- Julia Winter as Veruca Salt
- Jordan Fry as Mike Teavee
- Philip Wiegratz as Augustus Gloop
- Liz Smith as Grandma Georgina
- Eileen Essell as Grandma Josephine
- David Morris as Grandpa George
- Nitin Ganatra as Prince Pondicherry
- Shelley Conn as Princess Pondicherry
- Geoffrey Holder as the Narrator
Author Roald Dahl disapproved of the 1971 film adaptation. Warner Bros. and Brillstein-Grey Entertainment entered into discussions with the Dahl estate in 1991, hoping to purchase the rights to produce another film version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The purchase was finalized in 1998, with Dahl's widow, Felicity ("Liccy"), and daughter, Lucy, receiving total artistic control and final privilege on the choices of actors, directors and writers. The Dahl estate's subsequent protection of the source material was the main reason that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had languished in development hell since the 1990s.
Scott Frank was hired to write the screenplay in February 1999, after approaching Warner Bros. for the job. Frank, a recent Oscar-nominee for the R-rated crime film Out of Sight, wanted to work on a film that his children could enjoy. As an enthusiastic fan of the book, he intended to remain more faithful to Dahl's vision than the 1971 film had been. Nicolas Cage was under discussions for Willy Wonka, but lost interest. Gary Ross signed to direct in February 2000, which resulted in Frank completing two drafts of the screenplay, before leaving with Ross in September 2001. Both Warner Bros. and the Dahl Estate wanted Frank to stay on the project, but he faced scheduling conflicts and contractual obligations with Minority Report (2002) and The Lookout (2007).
Rob Minkoff entered negotiations to take the director's position in October 2001, and Gwyn Lurie was hired to start from scratch on a new script in February 2002. Lurie said she would adapt the original book and ignore the 1971 film adaptation. Dahl's estate championed Lurie after being impressed with her work on another Dahl adaptation, a live-action adaptation of The BFG, for Paramount Pictures, which was never made (Paramount distributed the earlier 1971 film version of Charlie, and later sold the rights to WB). In April 2002, Martin Scorsese was involved with the film, albeit briefly, but opted to direct The Aviator instead. Warner Bros. president Alan F. Horn wanted Tom Shadyac to direct Jim Carrey as Willy Wonka, believing the duo could make Charlie and the Chocolate Factory relevant to mainstream audiences, but Liccy Dahl opposed this.
After receiving enthusiastic approval from the Dahl estate, Warner Bros. hired Tim Burton to direct in May 2003. Burton compared the project's languishing development to Batman (1989), which he directed, in how there had been varied creative efforts with both films. He said, "Scott Frank's version was the best, probably the clearest, and the most interesting, but they had abandoned that." Liccy Dahl commented that Burton was the first and only director the estate was happy with. He had previously produced another of the author's adaptations with James and the Giant Peach (1996), and, like Roald Dahl, disliked the 1971 film because it strayed from the book's storyline.
As a child, Dahl was the author who I connected to the most. He got the idea of writing a mixture of light and darkness, and not speaking down to kids, and the kind of politically incorrect humor that kids get. I've always liked that, and it's shaped everything I've felt that I've done.
During pre-production, Burton visited Dahl's former home in the Buckinghamshire village of Great Missenden. Liccy Dahl remembers Burton entering Dahl's famed writing shed and saying, "This is the Buckets' house!" and thinking to herself, "Thank God, somebody gets it." Liccy also showed Burton the original handwritten manuscripts, which Burton discovered were more politically incorrect than the published book. The manuscripts included a child named Herpes, after the sexually transmitted disease.
Lurie's script received a rewrite by Pamela Pettler, who worked with Burton on Corpse Bride, but the director hired Big Fish screenwriter John August in December 2003 to start from scratch. Both August and Burton were fans of the book since their childhoods. August first read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when he was eight years old, and subsequently sent Dahl a fan letter. He did not see the 1971 film prior to his hiring, and when asking Burton if he should go back to watch it, August recalled "Tim almost leaped across the table and told me not to." In terms of the screenwriting process, August said "I literally went through the book with a highlighter and I would save even like little bits of scene description as much as I could, just so it would be as Roald Dahl-y as possible." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory took three-and-a-half weeks to write. Burton and August incorporated many parts of the book that were absent from the 1971 film adaptation, including the construction of the Indian Prince's chocolate palace, the inclusion of Charlie's father, and Veruca Salt's attack by squirrels.
Despite their intention to remain close to the source material, Burton and August diverged from the book to explore themes of family, and in doing so unearthed Willy Wonka's origin. "We added new elements that aren't in the book," explained Burton, "but I always felt comfortable that everything was in the spirit of the book." In exploring Wonka's upbringing, Burton and August created the character of Dr. Wilbur Wonka, Willy's domineering father. Burton thought the paternal character would help explain Willy Wonka himself and that otherwise he would be "just a weird guy". This element of the film was also personal for Burton. In 2002, Burton, who never had a good relationship with his parents, visited his dying mother in Lake Tahoe and discovered she had framed posters of all his films on her walls; this mirroring a scene towards the end of Charlie where it's revealed Dr. Wonka has been following his son's career with framed newspaper articles on the walls. Burton would later reflect, "I think all artistic endeavors are a way to resolve things, a form of therapy, a fantasy of resolving something. That's why I chose to resolve it that way."
Warner Bros. and the director held differences over the characterizations of Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka. The studio wanted to entirely delete Mr. Bucket and make Willy Wonka the idyllic father figure Charlie had longed for his entire life. Burton believed that Wonka would not be a good father, finding the character similar to a recluse. Burton said, "In some ways, he's more screwed up than the kids." Warner Bros. also wanted Charlie to be a whiz kid, but Burton resisted the characterization. He wanted Charlie to be an average child who would be in the background and not get in trouble.
Prior to Burton's involvement, Warner Bros. considered or discussed Willy Wonka with Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Michael Keaton, Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Mike Myers, Ben Stiller, Leslie Nielsen, three members of Monty Python, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, as well as Patrick Stewart, and Adam Sandler. Dustin Hoffman and Marilyn Manson reportedly sought the role as well. Pitt's production company, Plan B Entertainment, however, stayed on to co-finance the film with Warner Bros. Michael Jackson actively wanted the role and secretly recorded an original soundtrack for the film at a small studio in Los Angeles. Warner Bros. didn't want Jackson for Wonka, claiming that it wouldn't be marketable for Jackson as the leading role in a family film. However, they "went nuts" over the soundtrack and were willing to have Jackson name his price for the songs, in addition to a small role elsewhere in the film. Jackson was upset and shelved the songs.
Johnny Depp was the only actor Burton considered for the role, although Dwayne Johnson was Burton's second choice in case Depp was unavailable. Depp signed on without reading the script under the intention of going with a completely different approach than what Gene Wilder did in the 1971 film adaptation. Depp said regardless of the original film, Gene Wilder's characterization of Willy Wonka stood out as a unique portrayal. Depp and Burton derived their Willy Wonka from children's television show hosts such as Bob Keeshan from Captain Kangaroo, Fred Rogers, and Al Lewis from The Uncle Al Show, and Depp also took inspiration from various game show hosts. Burton recalled from his childhood that the characters were bizarre but left lasting impressions, saying "I used to watch a guy with a sheriff's hat, or a guy who wore a weird leisure suit, or Captain Kangaroo, this guy had a weird haircut and a mustache and sideburns. And you think back and go, 'What the fuck was that?' But they left a strong impression on you." Depp based Wonka's exaggerated bob cut and sunglasses on Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour. According to Depp, "the hair I imagined as a kind of Prince Valiant do, high bangs and a bob, extreme and very unflattering but something that Wonka probably thinks is cool because he's been locked away for such a long time and doesn't know any better, like the outdated slang he uses.” Depp also based Wonka's unique voice on how he'd imagine George W. Bush would sound while high on drugs. Burton added that Wonka's gloves and obscuring glasses were symbolic of his detachment from society.
The casting calls for Charlie Bucket, Violet Beauregarde, Veruca Salt, and Mike Teavee took place in the United States and United Kingdom, while Augustus Gloop's casting took place in Germany. Burton said he sought actors "who had something of the character in them", and found Mike Teavee the hardest character to cast. Burton was having trouble casting Charlie, until Depp, who had worked with Freddie Highmore on Finding Neverland, suggested Highmore for the part. Highmore had already read the book before, but decided to read it once more prior to auditioning. The actor did not see the original film adaptation, and chose not to see it until after Burton's production, so his portrayal would not be influenced. Before Adam Godley was officially cast as Mr. Teavee, Tim Allen, Ray Romano, and Bob Saget were considered for the role. Gregory Peck was reportedly considered for the role of Grandpa Joe but died before being able to accept the role.
Tim Burton wanted the setting of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to be ambiguous in an effort to give the film a fable-like quality similar to the book. Production designer Alex McDowell scouted several industrial mill towns in Northern England but came to the conclusion that a real place would not look stylized enough for Burton. "It was back to the Pinewood backlot to start building something that looked grim, wet and depressing on the outside but transitioned believably into a magical kingdom inside." The town, whose design was shaped by the black and white urban photography of Bill Brandt, as well as Pittsburgh and Northern England, is arranged like a medieval village, with Wonka's estate on top and the Bucket shack below. As per the film's ambiguous setting, the cars drive down the middle of the roads. The backlot constructed at Pinewood Studios consisted of the factory courtyard, several streets, nearly fifty townhomes, twenty shops, and the Bucket shack. This town was coincidentally constructed on the same backlot Burton had used for Gotham City in 1989's Batman. The Bucket home was inspired by Roald Dahl's famed writing hut, while the exterior of Wonka's factory was based on fascist architecture, with Burton remarking "for Wonka's factory, we kind of wanted a building with a kind of Hoover Dam-like optimism and strength, but then once it gets dark it looks slightly forboding."
For the set pieces in Wonka's factory, namely the Inventing Room, Nut Room, and TV Room, Burton favored using 360 degree enclosed sets because it offered a complete environment and got rid of visitors. The Inventing Room utilized scrap from the aeronautic industry, defunct confectionary machinery, and old car parts. McDowell compared the design of the Nut Room to that of a hospital with its plastic finish and sterile colors. The crew came up with the layout of the Nut Room fairly quickly, while the color scheme took more time to develop. The Nut Room had to be constructed at an elevation to account for the hole Veruca Salt would have to fall down. The all-white design of the TV Room was adapted directly from the book, though 2001: A Space Odyssey and THX 1138 also served as inspirations.
Willy Wonka's Chocolate Room was built on Pinewood Studios' 007 Stage, one of the largest soundstages in the world. Artificial grass laid upon blocks of polystyrene foam that formed the shape of the landscape. For the chocolate river, McDowell insisted on having the river look edible, saying "in the first film, it's so distasteful." According to Tim Burton, "the important thing for me was that we wanted to give the chocolate river a really chocolatey feel, give it a weight, not just brown water. That's why we tried to use a real chocolate substitute, to give it a movement and texture." Joss Williams oversaw the creation of a faux chocolate concoction, taking months to create a non-toxic edible substance with the right consistency. The final mixture, developed by a UK-based chemical company called Vickers, was a mix of water, food grade biocide, and hydroxyethyl cellulose. 192,000 gallons of faux chocolate filled the river, while 30,000 gallons of the same material made up the chocolate waterfall. Wonka's boat, used by the characters to travel down the chocolate river, took 20 weeks to build and incorporated 54 animatronic Oompa-Loompas, along with its own internal rowing mechanism.
Colleen Atwood, who served as the costume designer on every live-action Tim Burton film from 1994's Ed Wood to 2019's Dumbo, was supposed to reprise her position on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but ultimately declined citing "personal reasons." Burton then selected Italian costume designer Gabriella Pescucci. Ten different jackets and overcoats were designed to find the right look for Willy Wonka. Pescucci described the film's wardrobe as "contemporary, but with old world styling."[n 1]
Principal photography for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory started on June 21, 2004. While the main set pieces were filmed on soundstages at Pinewood Studios in England, the crew also shot on several locations, with the toothpaste factory filmed at a CompAir factory in High Wycombe, England; the establishing shot for Augustus Gloop's home filmed in Gengenbach, Germany (though it was labeled Düsseldorf in the film); the establishing shot for the middle Middle Eastern bazaar was filmed in Sanaa, Yemen (though it was labeled Marrakesh, Morocco in the film); the exterior of Violet Beauregarde's home filmed in Buford, Georgia in the United States; and Veruca Salt's manor being filmed at Hatfield House for the interior shots and Wrotham Park for the exterior.
Tim Burton avoided using too many digital effects to reflect the original book's emphasis on texture and because he wanted the younger actors to feel as if they were working in a realistic environment. As a result, forced perspective techniques, oversized props and scale models were used to avoid computer-generated imagery (CGI) wherever possible. However, CGI was used for several scenes, namely the main titles, the boat ride, Violet Beauregarde's inflation, and the glass elevator ride.
Deep Roy was cast to play the Oompa-Loompas based on his previous collaborations with Burton on Planet of the Apes and Big Fish. The actor was able to play various Oompa-Loompas using split screen photography, digital and front projection effects. "Tim told me that the Oompa-Loompas were strictly programmed, like robots—all they do is work, work, work," Roy commented. "So when it comes time to dance, they're like a regiment; they do the same steps." Roy, who played a total of 165 individual Oompa-Loompas in the film, experienced an especially laborious regimen during production. He was required to regularly practice Pilates with a personal trainer and follow a diet in order for his appearance to remain unchanged during filming. With no prior professional dancing experience, each musical number involving Roy took a month to rehearse and six months in total to film. In referencing his workload during production, Burton called Roy the "hardest-working man in show biz."
For Veruca Salt's demise at the hands of 100 squirrels, Burton wanted the animals to be real. Forty rescue squirrels were trained over 19 weeks to perform sorting, shelling, and other actions. They began their coaching while newborns, fed by bottles to form relationships with human trainers. The squirrels were each taught how to sit upon a little bar stool, tap and then open a walnut, and deposit its meat onto a conveyor belt. "Ultimately, the scene was supplemented by CGI and animatronics," Burton said, "but for the close-ups and the main action, they're the real thing."
During the filming of a scene in the Chocolate Room in July 2004, a $540,000 camera lens accidentally plunged into the faux chocolate river, delaying production and destroying the camera. Another hurdle during filming was the existence of British Equity rules, which state that children can only work four and a half hours a day. Director Tim Burton and composer Danny Elfman also found filming somewhat difficult because they were simultaneously working on Corpse Bride. Filming for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory took six months, ending in December 2004. Despite these challenges, Burton claimed production ended ahead of schedule.
|Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album / Film score by|
|Released||July 12, 2005|
|Studio||Abbey Road Studios|
|Label||Warner Sunset Records|
Tim Burton (exec.)
Steve Bartek (co.)
|Danny Elfman chronology|
|Film Score Monthly|
Danny Elfman, similar to Tim Burton, had no emotional attachment to 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. According to Elfman, "I had no trouble divorcing myself from those [original] songs. I’ve dealt with that a couple of times. You know you’re dealing with something that’s going to make a lot of people angry, and you just can’t think about it." Because the Oompa-Loompa musical numbers would require complex choreography and be shot on set, Elfman had to compose those songs before filming began. Elfman also composed the songs simultaneously alongside the music from Corpse Bride. It was decided at an early stage that Elfman would be providing the vocals for all the Oompa-Loompas, a decision justified by the identical nature of the Oompa-Loompas, with pitch changes and modulations to represent different singers.
The first song composed was "Augustus Gloop", being done as a Bollywood spectacle per Deep Roy's suggestion. Elfman recounted, "my original approach was to find a style of music and apply that to all the songs. Tim was like, 'No, no, no, no, no... we're going to completely mix it up!' I said, 'Great, let's go.'" Per Burton's suggestion, the Oompa-Loompa songs would each reflect a different style of music: "Violet Beauregarde" is 1970s funk, "Veruca Salt" is 1960s bubblegum and psychedelic pop, and "Mike Teavee" is a tribute to late-1970s hard rock, particularly Queen, and early 1980s hair bands. All four songs utilize lyrics direct from Roald Dahl's book; as such, the lyrics are credited to Dahl. Rather than using the book's songs in their entirety, Elfman selected specific verses, as he believed using them unabridged would've made each song ten minutes long. "Violet Beauregarde" was the only song that required a partial rewrite, as the song in the book was about a girl who chewed gum rather than Violet Beauregarde herself. The only other song to require vocal performances was "Wonka's Welcome Song", which was written in collaboration with the film's screenwriter John August and was done as a maddeningly cheerful theme park ditty.
In addition to the Oompa-Loompa songs, Elfman created an entire underscore for the film being based around three primary themes: a gentle family theme for the Buckets, generally set in upper woodwinds; a mystical, string-driven waltz for Willy Wonka; and a hyper-upbeat factory theme for full orchestra, Elfman's homemade synthesizer samples and the diminutive chanting voices of the Oompa-Loompas. Elfman and Burton differed on their ideas for the main title music, as Elfman imagined something more dreamy while Burton wanted something energetic. Other songs heard in the film include Richard Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra, which plays during a sequence in the film as a direct reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The original motion picture soundtrack was released on July 12, 2005, by Warner Sunset Records. The soundtrack received positive reviews, with Doug Adams of Film Score Monthly saying of the Oompa-Loompa songs: "Each piece includes something the others don’t, rhythms or hooks or harmonies that in Elfman’s inimitable way seem like deconstructions and wholly original concepts at the same time." Filmtracks.com called the soundtrack a "rhythmically driven affair" because of the mechanical nature of the factory, a departure from Elfman's penchant for quieter heartbreaking themes. "Wonka's Welcome Song" received a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media. Elfman would later cite Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as being one of the most fun projects he had been involved with.
In 2010, thirteen previously unreleased tracks were included as part of the Danny Elfman & Tim Burton 25th Anniversary Music Box. In addition to those tracks, instrumentals of "Wonka's Welcome Song" and the Oompa-Loompa songs were included, as well as several demos.
|1.||"Wonka's Welcome Song"||1:01|
|7.||"Wonka's First Shop"||1:42|
|8.||"The Indian Palace"||3:16|
|9.||"Wheels in Motion"||3:17|
|10.||"Charlie's Birthday Bar"||1:53|
|11.||"The Golden Ticket/Factory"||3:03|
|14.||"The Boat Arrives"||1:15|
|15.||"The River Cruise"||1:54|
|17.||"Up and Out"||3:11|
|18.||"The River Cruise, Pt. 2"||1:56|
|21.||"End Credit Suite"||7:01|
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had its premiere at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on July 10, 2005, where money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation was raised. The film was released in the United States on July 15, 2005, in 3,770 theaters, including IMAX theaters. In the United Kingdom, the premiere was held on July 15, with the film being released in theaters July 29.
Early in the development of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in February 2000, Warner Bros. announced their intention of marketing the film with a Broadway theatre musical after release. The studio reiterated their interest in May 2003; however, the idea was postponed by the time filming began in June 2004. The main tie-in for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory focused on The Willy Wonka Candy Company, a division of Nestlé. A small range of Wonka Bars were launched, utilizing their prominence in the film. The teaser poster for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was released in November 2004, with the teaser trailer premiering the following month in front of showings of The Polar Express. In line with the film's theatrical release in the US, an eponymous tie-in video game was released on the Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and Microsoft Windows platforms. The release of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory also rekindled public interest in Roald Dahl's 1964 book, and appeared on The New York Times Best Seller list from July 3 to October 23, 2005.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was released on VHS and DVD on November 8, 2005. The single-disc version of the film included only two special features: an Oompa-Loompa dance tutorial and "Becoming Oompa-Loompa", which documented Deep Roy's experience on the production. A two-disc edition was also released which included six more behind the scenes featurettes: "Chocolate Dreams", exploring the writing and Tim Burton's vision for the film; "Different Faces, Different Flavors", exploring the characters; "Designer Chocolate", detailing the production design and costumes; "Sweet Sounds", how Danny Elfman created the Oompa-Loompa songs; "Under the Wrapper", detailing the film's practical and digital effects; and "Attack of the Squirrels", exploring how real squirrels were utilized for Veruca Salt's demise. The two-disc edition also contained several games and DVD-Rom features.
For the film's HD DVD release in November 2006, all the behind the scenes featurettes from the two-disc edition were included. The HD DVD release also introduced an audio commentary by Burton, a music-only audio track, a "Club Reel", and an in-movie experience titled "Television Chocolate", with trivia and interviews overlayed onto the screen during the film. A Blu-ray release followed in October 2011, followed by a 10th anniversary Blu-ray release in March 2015. Both sets featured the same bonus features as the HD DVD, although the anniversary edition included a personal retrospective by Burton and a photo book.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory earned $56,178,450 in its opening weekend, the fifth-highest opening-weekend gross for 2005, and stayed at No. 1 for two weeks. At the time of release, the film's opening earnings marked Depp's highest to date, surpassing Pirates of the Caribbean's $46,630,690 opening. Its overall good performance was attributed to largely favorable reviews by critics. The film eventually grossed $206,459,076 in US totals and $268,509,687 in foreign countries, coming to a worldwide total of $474,968,763. It was the 58th-highest-grossing film of all time when released, as well as seventh-highest for the US and eighth-highest worldwide for 2005.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 83% of 230 reviews are positive, and the average rating is 7.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Closer to the source material than 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is for people who like their Chocolate visually appealing and dark." According to Metacritic, which calculated a weighted average score of 72 out of 100 from 40 critic reviews, the film received "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
A. O. Scott of The New York Times gave a positive review, writing "in spite of relapses and imperfections, a few of them serious, Mr. Burton's movie succeeds in doing what far too few films aimed primarily at children even know how to attempt anymore, which is to feed—even to glut—the youthful appetite for aesthetic surprise." Scott also praised Alex McDowell's set design, comparing the look of the factory to something out of Fritz Lang's Metropolis. Mick LaSalle from the San Francisco Chronicle found Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Burton's "best work in years. If all the laughs come from Depp, who gives Willy the mannerisms of a classic Hollywood diva, the film's heart comes from Highmore, a gifted young performer whose performance is sincere, deep and unforced in a way that's rare in a child actor." Peter Travers wrote in Rolling Stone magazine that "Depp's deliciously demented take on Willy Wonka demands to be seen. Depp goes deeper to find the bruises on Wonka's secret heart than what Gene Wilder did. Depp and Burton may fly too high on the vapors of pure imagination, but it's hard to not get hooked on something this tasty. And how about that army of Oompa-Loompas, all played by Deep Roy, in musical numbers that appear to have been choreographed by Busby Berkeley on crack."
Johnny Depp's performance as Willy Wonka was divisive among critics. Roger Ebert, who was pleased with the overall film, was disappointed with Depp's performance: "What was Depp thinking of? In Pirates of the Caribbean he was famously channeling Keith Richards, which may have primed us to look for possible inspirations for this performance." Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post criticized Depp's acting: "The cumulative effect isn't pretty. Nor is it kooky, funny, eccentric or even mildly interesting. Indeed, throughout his fey, simpering performance, Depp seems to be straining so hard for weirdness that the entire enterprise begins to feel like those excruciating occasions when your parents tried to be hip." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly praised Depp's performance, writing "he maintains the paradox, the mystery, of Willy Wonka: a misanthrope who has little patience for children, who can’t even utter the word 'parents' without gagging, yet who invents for those same kids the purest and most luscious candies out of the sugar dream of his imagination." Depp received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance.
Gene Wilder's reaction
In 2004, during on-set interviews while filming, Tim Burton called the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory "sappy", adding, "A lot of people are huge fans of the movie and hold it in awe. I wasn't one of them." Johnny Depp paid homage to Gene Wilder, who portrayed Willy Wonka in the first adaptation. Depp considered Wilder's performance "brilliant but subtle." He said to have had "Big shoes [to fill], though. Gene Wilder did such an awesome job in that film in the early '70s."
In 2005, prior to the release of the new film, Wilder said he was aware of Depp's compliments. While Wilder was appreciative towards Depp, he was uncharacteristically critical of Burton's production overall stating, "It's just some people sitting around thinking 'How can we make some more money?' Why else would you remake Willy Wonka? I don’t see the point of going back and doing it all over again." The filmmakers emphasized that the 2005 production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was an adaptation of the 1964 book rather than a remake of the 1971 film. Depp found Wilder's remarks "disappointing" saying, "I can understand where he's coming from, I guess. [...] When didn't they ever do anything for money? Nobody's ever made a film in the history of cinema where they weren't expecting some return on their dough."
In 2013, Wilder made further comments calling Burton's film an "insult". He continued, "It's probably Warner Brothers' insult, I think. I like Warner Brothers for other reasons, but to do that with Johnny Depp, who I think is a good actor and I like him. But I don't care for that director [Burton] and he's a talented man, but I don't care for him for doing stuff like he did."
Retrospective reviews of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have been polarizing, with Life magazine in 2021 describing the film as "popular but divisive." Entertainment Weekly and Variety, respectively, ranked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as Tim Burton's third and fourth-best film. Conversely, Time Out named the film as the worst adaptation of a Roald Dahl book, elaborating "there’s something so horribly garish about Burton’s film that you can’t help feeling a little queasy afterwards." Guy Lodge of The Guardian claimed that the film's reputation was hurt by Depp's "off-puttingly fey, chilly spin on Wonka", even though "Burton's film handily trumps [the 1971 adaptation] for cinematic verve and vibrancy."
As of 2021, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remains the only financially successful Roald Dahl adaptation, following the underperformances of Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox and Steven Spielberg's The BFG. Forbes hypothesized that the film's success could be attributed to Depp and Burton being at the height of their popularity in 2005. The film is also Tim Burton's second highest-grossing, only behind 2010's Alice in Wonderland.
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