I was skeptical when I first heard they were remaking Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But I must admit that while Gene Wilder’s 70’s version is awesome (how much do I like it? I own the DVD.) it doesn’t really express the deeply fabulous and surreal aspects of Roald Dahl‘s book. (BTW, that Dahl website is one of my favorite websites ever. And while I’m on the subject, he was a great writer of adult fiction as well.)
Also, the 1971 film was strangely called “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” which obviously is not the name of the book, which is about Charlie. I was always a little suspicious of this focus on the grown-up when the book is all about a mystical child’s world. Willy Wonka isn’t even in the second book: “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.”
So now that I’ve sat with it, I am extremely happy that Tim Burton is re-creating the tale… with the right name, and a screenplay written by someone who hadn’t even seen Wilder’s version. Tim Burton is the right guy for the job – fantastical and otherworldly are his specialties.
Of course, the trailer sucks. But trailers always suck. It may even be the mark of a really good non-mainstream film when the editor making the trailer just doesn’t get it.