Hugh Grant revealed as Oompa-Loompa in new Wonka footage

‘Wonka’ lead Timothée Chalamet said seeing ‘Notting Hill’ star as an Oompa-Loompa was ‘a trip’

Tom Murray
Wednesday 26 April 2023 07:28 BST
Timothee Chalamet sings on back of truck on Wonka set

Hugh Grant plays a “tiny” Oompa-Loompa in the upcoming Wonka movie starring Timothée Chalamet as the titular chocolatier.

The news was revealed to a select audience at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Tuesday (25 April) as part of extended footage that screened for exhibitors.

According to Variety, the trailer shows Grant’s character trapped in a tiny glass jar – Wonka later hires him to run his factory.

The Oompa-Loompas, created by the author Roald Dahl for his 1964 book on which the film is based, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, are the workers at Wonka’s factory.

In the book, the characters were depicted as African pygmies – an offensive element that was changed for 1971’s film adaptation Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder.

Director Mel Stuart made the decision to have the Oompa-Loompas a distinctive shade of orange with bright green hair and white eyebrows, which is how they’ve been portrayed ever since.

Entertainment reporter Germain Lussier, who was present at CinemaCon for the trailer, tweeted: “Extended trailer for Wonka... Shows him originating all of his special chocolates against the will of an evil chocolate cartel. Ends with HUGH GRANT as an Oompa Loompa, the first one Willy meets. He sings for him. Looks very joyous and bright and fun.”

Meanwhile, New York Times reporter Nicole Sperling said that Timothée Chalamet, appearing onstage at the convention, told the crowd that seeing Grant as an Oompa-Loompa was “a trip”.

The Dune star was recently spotted filming scenes for Wonka at Oxford University.

Chalamet gave fans an initial look at his character’s outfit last year – though the get-up prompted a mixed response on social media.

Mimicking the purple aesthetic that was made famous by Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Chalamet’s look was likened by many to Gonzo from The Muppets.

Wonka also stars Olivia Colman, Rowan Atkinson, Keegan-Michael Key and Sally Hawkins, and will be released on 15 December this year.

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