June 17, 2005

Willie Wonka ≈ Michael Jackson.

Did Johnny Depp base his Willie Wonka character on Michael Jackson?

Based on the trailer, I'd say so. An apt choice, isn't it? The Chocolate Factory ≈ Neverland.

UPDATE: Chris emails:
Why didn't you mention in your Johnny Depp post that this is the second consecutive role in which he seems to indirectly be playing Michael Jackson (the first being Finding Neverland)? I agree that he looks eerily like Jackson in the trailer.


ANOTHER UPDATE: Here's my conclusion, after seeing the movie, about whether Depp based his character on Michael Jackson.

19 comments:

Iron Teakettle said...

Johnny Depp as Willie Wonka? Say it ain't so. Gene wilder is the only Willie Wonka for me.

Oompa, oompa, oompa tee doo. When my daughter sang it to me I almost fell off my feet.

Tonya said...

Johnny is doing what many actors do after they have kids -- they start making movies that their own children can watch. I've seen the trailer several times and think that he'll make a fine Willy Wonka. And, if not, he's always nice to look at.

Ann Althouse said...

Iron: There's no singing in the new movie. I find Gene Wilder incredibly creepy. And Johnny Depp just the sweetest thing!

Tonya: He's going awfully effeminate and blatantly wearing lipstick in the Jackson fashion.

Tonya said...

Whatever. He's still Johnny Depp. Um, he didn't cut his hair, did he? 'Cause I love his long hair.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm sure that Wonka pageboy is a wig.

Tonya said...

Whew!

Renee said...

Michael Jackson is the first thing I thought of when I saw the WW trailer.

Then I wondered at the studio's timing & Johnny Depp's judgement.

I have a feeling that the movie is going to leave a bad taste in the mouth's of many parents.

Iron Teakettle said...

Professor:

Please delete this comment if you think it is out of line but I recommned the original "Willie Wonka and ths Chocolate Factory" with Gene Wilder and Jack Albertson to all your readers especially for the music.

P.S. You didn't like Gene Wilder in "The Producers" or "Young Frankenstein"?

lindsey said...

Hmmm... I swear I read an early review which said there was singing in the movie.

TWM said...

Actually I heard that he based it in part on Marilyn Manson.

Drethelin said...

I enjoy gene wilder because he always seems to be on the edge of snapping.

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Depp has said in at least one interview that he based his character in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN on Keith Richards. (I haven't seen that movie, but I would, just to see Keith.) So it's believable that he uses rock stars as character models.

Ann Althouse said...

Iron Teakettle: I laughed at a lot of Gene Wilder things back in the 1970s. He's funny in "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask." Creepy too. Let's just say I find him physically unappealing -- extremely so. Johnny, on the other hand -- exactly the opposite. As to the original "Willie Wonka" movie - I think everyone has seen that, possibly numerous times. That movie being good doesn't mean there can't be another one. "Hamlet" has been done more than once. Why not "Willie"?

Lindsey: The new movie is NOT a musical. I'm sure there's the usual background music.

TWM: Marilyn Manson? Isn't he pretty ordinary when not performing. What was the documentary where you see him talking backstage? Oh, that's what IMDB is good for. "Bowling for Columbine." He doesn't seem to have an weird or distinctive characteristics too me. Maybe something of the visual side, but the MJ effect is very evident, in my opinion.

Richard: Good point. I've seen "Pirates" and the Keith Richards source material is quite clearly there. The sequel has Richards himself playing Depp's dad.

Depp also drew on Chaplin and Buster Keaton for his performance in "Benny and Joon." That was in the script, but he was very good at that, early in his career. It's a way to get ideas for transforming yourself, which he likes to do. And of course, he actually impersonated Hunter S. Thompson.

katiebakes said...

I can't wait for the new Willy Wonka movie (I always think it's called Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, when it's actually Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

It's directed by Tim Burton which means it will be completely creepy. Judging by two of the previews I've seen -- thank you Apple Quicktime trailers!! -- it seems to be a darker movie than the first.

Apparently the kid playing Charlie was the same kid from Finding Neverland, which I haven't seen. Depp was so enamored of his talent that he asked the casting directors to choose the boy.

Depp was great in Pirates of the Caribbean, RLC: a very fun performance that has gotten me excited to see him in another interesting character role.

Drethelin said...

Although I'll probably love seeing depp as wonka, and enjoy a tim burton chocolate factory, this trend of remaking old movies is starting to get annoying. Where are the new fables and fairy tales?

MAX GORDON said...

In the clip I saw, Johnny Depp looked like a cross between Michael Jackson, Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford, a drag queen and Charles Manson. I don't know what the movie is going to look like his performance looks fascinating.

kathrine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kathrine said...

Johnny Depp 100% looks like michael jackson and sounds a bit like him tooand has the same expression lines as michael. the trailer looks good in the 3d graphics but it will never be as good a the orgainal one in my eyes as i have grown up with the idea of Gene Wilder as willy wonka!

Kylie said...

I totally love Willie Wonka, that Johnny Depp is palying!!! For u to know - I don't fancy Johnny Depp as a acter or as a man, but I LOVE Willie Wonka! Today I went to see that "Charlie and tha Chocolate Factory" for third time and why...? Because I like that guy, who has the factory. The way he enjoys life, his humor and his outfit! I like everything about him! Haven't seen old Willie, but I'm not even looking forward to that! So, take it easy and enjoy Chocolate!!! =o)