Following the death of legendary comedic actor Gene Wilder on 29 August, fans have been eagerly revisiting some of his best movies, which of course includes Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory where he iconically played the titular role.
Not only have they been looking back at his past works however, but some keen lovers of his have also been going over some of his old interviews too, according to Esquire.
One particular interview that has resurfaced sees him open up about Tim Burton's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory remake, which was released in 2005 and starred Bates Motel actor Freddie Highmore and Johnny Depp as Wonka. And as it turns out, Wilder wasn't so enamoured with how the filmmaker portrayed the beloved characters.
"I think it's an insult," the late star explains in the video below. "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. He's a talented man, but I don't care for him for doing stuff like he did."
While it might seem a bit scathing on a first read, Wilder was certainly entitled to his own opinion on Burton's interpretation of Roald Dahl's classic story and it's pretty admirable that he actually revealed how he truly felt about it, rather than backing it like a lot of actors do with originals and reboots. Burton's 2005 outing was wildly different to the 1971 movie which saw Wilder embody the weird and wonderful candy manufacturer Willy Wonka, not only in style (thanks to it being filmed over 30 years later) but in tone too.
Judging by his short statement, and the emphasis on Depp's part in the movie without actually damning the actor, it seems as if Wilder's issue was with how Willy Wonka was presented. While Wilder's portrayal was considered eccentric, it's common knowledge that many people thought Depp's take on the character was borderline creepy. Evidently, it wasn't everyone's bag and it seems to safe to assume that it wasn't Wilder's either.
Similarly, Dahl actually wrote the screenplay to Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, whereas Burton's film was penned by Big Fish's John August. Perhaps Wilder saw that as indication that the first film was more true to Dahl's original vision? Sadly, we'll never get to know for sure.
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