Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was considered for Willy Wonka

Posted on 28 July 2020
By Dana Andersen
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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson may not be the first person to spring to mind when thinking of Willy Wonka, but he could have been.

When Roald Dahl’s novel was first adapted in 1971, as the now much beloved classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, fans and critics alike agreed it was a masterpiece.

Starring Gene Wilder as the titular Willy Wonka, the childlike wonder mixed with trip visuals, and an unnerving atmosphere, created a movie that was loved by adults and children alike, and has survived to have a cult following.

When Tim Burton came to remake the film in 2005, fans were intrigued, but unsure.

Being the man behind big screen hits like Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, he had a lot riding on him to match up to the original.

Casting Johnny Depp was a no brainer, he was sure to bring in an audience, and having worked with Burton before, everyone knew they were a duo to reckon with.

Imagine how different things could have been if one-time pro-wrestler Dwayne Johnson had taken on the role.

In a recent Instagram post, The Rock wrote about being offered the role of Willy Wonka, saying: “Some cool history – back in the early 2000’s, iconic director, Tim Burton, had considered me to play Willy Wonka in his remake, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

At the time though, the wrestler had little more acting experience than his part in The Mummy Returns, and The Scorpion King, and recognised that by continuing to say: “That was many years ago when i was just starting out in Hollywood with no foundation of global doc office strength or any real acting experience to even pull it off.”

Although we may know Johnson as a household name now, thanks to his part in movies like Jumanji and Bay Watch, Johnny Depp certainly had more of a box office pull in 2005.

Johnson went on in the post to express how much Burton considering him meant to him at all, ending by saying: “I’ll always raise a glass to the dreams that don’t come true, because sometimes they’re the best things that never happened. #BigBrownBaldTattooedWonka.”