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The novel

  • Defictionalization: Wonka is actually an actual brand of candy that started in 1971 (after the first film adaptation). It is currently owned by Nestlé.
    • In fact, Quaker Oats gave a ton of money to the production and then changed the name of their upcoming candy line to Wonka, which is also the reason for the title change.
    • Most of the candy as well. Everlasting Gobstoppers don't last forever, sadly.
      • Ironically, for a candy company named after a chocolate factory, they don't make many chocolate products.
      • Also ironically, for a brand of candy made by a British company based on an Book from a British writer, they seem much more popular in America.
      • Their most notable original creation? Nerds.
      • Nestlé supplied all of the edible prop candy for the 2005 film, because they had bought the Wonka brand by then.
  • What Could Have Been: The original concept for the story didn't even have any children in it! After that, there were multiple drafts, each with different numbers of children (anywhere from five up to thirty) with different personalities and fates (explained below). The general plot was different too: in an early draft the factory tours were a weekly event, Willy Wonka had a son called Freddie, and the story ended with Charlie getting his own chocolate shop.
    • Early concepts for children included Miranda Mary Piker, who was a school-obsessed swot; and Marvin Prune, who was a very conceited boy. Also -- and this is absolutely true -- Mike Teavee's original name was Herpes Trout.
    • The Oompa-Loompas' original name was the Whipple-Scrumpets.
    • Very early on, Charlie was black. Dahl's editor convinced him to drop that idea.
    • There's a lot of information here: [1]

The 1971 film

  • Breakaway Pop Hit: A temporary case. For a little while, the opening number "The Candy Man" was better known than the film when it became a big hit for Sammy Davis, Jr., but once the movie became Vindicated by Cable, the cover version was dismissed as kitsch later.
    • The Sammy Davis, Jr. version has found use as a jingle/theme by Chris Evans on his BBC Radio 2 breakfast programme.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Roald Dahl hated the original movie adaptation of his book, to the point where he refused to allow the movie of the sequel to be made. However, his widow also said he would have loved the Tim Burton adaptation if he had lived long enough to see it, though some doubt that on basis of Roald Dahl being as the type who dislikes film and TV in general (see Author Filibuster.)
  • Life Imitates Art: Sort of. Julie Dawn Cole, who played Veruca, swiped a few props from the set, including a Golden Ticket and an Everlasting Gobstopper. However, she lost the mink coat that was made specifically for the movie, having apparently left it on the back of her chair when she went to lunch. The director yelled at her until she cried when he found out- it was real fur.
  • What Could Have Been: Jean Stapleton was offerred the role of Mike Teevee's mother at the same time she was also being offered the role of Edith Bunker. Even the director, who begged her to be in the movie, later admitted that she made the right choice.

The 2005 film

  • Hey, It's That Voice!: The Narrator is Geoffrey Holder, better known as Baron Samedi.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Martin Scorsese was reportedly considered for the director's job. Marilyn Manson was rumored to be his choice for Wonka, and Manson did campaign for it in any case.
    • Michael Keaton was the original choice to play Wonka.
    • Before Burton was signed on, other rumored Wonkas ranged from Robin Williams to Will Smith to Nicolas Cage. And once he was, he considered Christopher Walken before going with Depp.
    • Michael Jackson, according to his brother Jermaine's book You Are Not Alone, was all set to campaign for the Wonka role -- and then he was charged of child molestation for the second time and had to give up that idea.
    • Sam Neill auditioned for the role of Mr. Salt, but Burton said he wanted Johnny Depp to be the only name actor in the movie. (As for Christopher Lee's appearance, that may be a case of Creator Thumbprint.)
    • Gregory Peck was first offered the role of Grandpa Joe, and he told Warner Brothers that he'd consider it. Sadly, he died before he could give his answer, but his family has revealed he was very eager to play the part. The only reason he didn't say yes right away was because he was afraid it would make him seem desperate and cause the studio to give him a lower paycheck.
  • Johnny Depp was so pleased with Freddie Highmore's work in Finding Neverland that he asked Tim Burton to let Highmore screen test.
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