‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’: Gene Wilder Threatened to Quit the Movie Over 1 Surprising Demand

by Jeremy Spirogis
Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka

, it’s unimaginable to think about anybody in addition to Gene Wilder taking part in the
iconic function of Willy Wonka within the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate
. The classic
continues to be in style today due to timeless themes and enduring enchantment
that’s lasted for generations. Wilder is a big a part of that draw.

But the actor, who died in 2016 from issues of Alzheimer’s illness on the age of 83, nearly walked away from the defining function of his profession. He made one main demand of Willy Wonka producers and in a later interview claimed that their refusal to satisfy this stipulation would have pressured him to stop the film.

Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka
Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

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‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’ was tailored from a

Like most memorable movies, the story of Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka’s assembly got here from literature. The film was tailored from the 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

Several well-known actors, together with all six members of the Monty
Python comedy ensemble, have been thought-about for the necessary function of Wonka earlier than
Paramount producers settled on Wilder. The casting was excellent, however Wilder did
famously insist upon taking part in Wonka his approach.

Gene Wilder had a imaginative and prescient for Willy Wonka

Gene Wilder Gene Wilder
Gene Wilder | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Like any good actor finding out for a job, Wilder learn the ebook
earlier than taking up the half. And his takeaway proved past a doubt that he understood
who Willy Wonka was meant to be.

“I used to be provided the half. I learn the [Roald Dahl] ebook.
And Mel Stuart, the director, got here to my dwelling in New York,” Wilder
defined, in accordance with The
Hollywood Reporter

“He stated, ‘You wanna do it?’ and I stated, ‘Well, I’ll
let you know, I’ll do it if I can come out, and all the group quiets down, and I
am utilizing a cane.’ Oh, my God. Willy Wonka is crippled. ‘And I stroll slowly and
you may hear a pin drop. And my cane will get caught in a brick. And I fall ahead
onto my face and do a ahead somersault and soar up, they usually all begin to

Willy Wonka’s first stunt proved nobody might belief him

Gene WilderGene Wilder
Gene Wilder | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Wilder went on to clarify his reasoning behind the cane trick.

He continued: “I said, ‘Because no one will know from that point on whether I am lying or telling the truth,’” Wilder defined. Stuart requested, “Are you saying you won’t do that film if you can’t do that?” and Wilder confirmed, “‘That’s what I’m saying.’ And I meant it.”

Luckily, the studio gave in to Wilder’s calls for and labored the scene into the film. As the actor predicted, his first look within the movie made an impression that completely conveyed Wonka’s unpredictable nature.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a treasured Hollywood traditional. In 2014, it was chosen for preservation within the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being a film that’s “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

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