Willy Wonka Trends As Fans Debate Gene Wilder Vs Johnny Depp’s Performance

Willy Wonka is trending as fans debate who portrayed the character better, Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp. Author Roald Dahl published his novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 1964, which became a worldwide hit with children and adults alike. The story follows a young boy named Charlie Bucket, who lives in poverty with his family, as he attempts to find a golden ticket that would grant him access to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, a mysterious place where chocolatier Willy Wonka makes a vast assortment of amazing candy. The story follows Charlie's adventures once he and four other kids find golden tickets and make their way into the factory, which becomes a strange test of survival amidst the magical and tasty world inside.

In 1971, Gene Wilder played the role of Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a musical version of Dahl's book directed by Mel Stuart, which quickly became a cult favorite throughout the years, notably for Wilder's portrayal of Wonka. In 2005, director Tim Burton released his take on the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which starred Johnny Depp as Wonka in a more enigmatic performance than Wilder's deadpan and eccentric portrayal of the character. With decades separating both adaptations, the debate over who played Wonka better began to take shape, as different generations had different takes on the opposing films.

Related: Why Tim Burton Casts Johnny Depp In So Many Of His Movies

Now, the debate has been reignited as the question was posed on Brad Berkwitt's Twitter account, spawning an outpouring of responses over the burning question. For the most part, it appears that Wilder is the favorite Wonka, holding strong as embodying the character the best. However, Depp's performance also has its favorites with fans saying his portrayal was more accurate to Dahl's novel. The Tim Burton film is often praised for embracing the darker undertones of the character (and the novel), while the Wilder film is comparatively more magical and endearing, due largely to the late actor's performance. Check out some of the responses in the debate below:

Gene Wilder passed away in 2016 after a long and distinguished career as an actor, starring in a multitude of memorable films, including Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, The Producers and his collaborations with Richard Pryor, including Silver Streak and Stir Crazy. Wilder was married to the late Gilda Radner, with whom he starred and directed multiple films with. After her death, Wilder founded Gilda's Club, a community organization for cancer patients and their families. Depp, by contrast, has continued to have an illustrious career, taking on many different types of roles throughout the years, including a wide array of Tim Burton projects, from Edward Scissorhands to Sleepy Hollow to Ed Wood and beyond.

The debate between who played a better Willy Wonka in a film adaptation is ultimately a subjective one. For many who grew up with the Wilder version, it will always be Wilder's performance that stands above all the rest. For the younger generation that grew up with Tim Burton's version there is a stronger appeal for Depp's portrayal. For others, the debate hinges on source material accuracy, which leans in favor of Burton's film. And, some fans will simply prefer the more magnetic and eccentric portrayal of Wilder as Wonka over book accuracy. In the end, it all boils down to individual opinion, even if it can be fun to debate regardless. Soon, another top hat will be thrown into the mix, as Timothée Chalamet is set to play Wonka in an origin tale directed by Paddington's Paul King.

Next: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory 50th Anniversary Interview

Source: Brad Berkwitt

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