Roald Dahl’s famous novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published in 1964, and has had two major adaptations since then. The 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory had Gene Wilder play the titular role of Willy Wonka, while Johnny Depp took over the role in 2005 Tim Burton movie.

The character of Willy Wonka is now trending online as fans have been debating as to who did a better job, Wilder or Depp. While Wilder played Wonka as a quiet eccentric, Depp’s performance was a lot more theatrical and absurd.

Since the movies came out decades apart, different generations are on different sides of the debate, which was sparked by the following tweet by Brad Berkwitt:

Willy Wonka & Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp?


While most fans seem to prefer Wilder’s interpretation of the character, a vocal minority have voiced support for Depp’s portrayal as well, calling the latter more accurate to the book. Wilder’s performance was also a lot lighter and sillier, while Depp’s portrayal delved into some of the darker aspects of the character.

While the question of the better Willy Wonka is a subjective one, and down to preference, it is safe to say that both actors did an excellent job, and improved their respective movies!

What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments!

Nitish Vashishtha

Nitish is a freelance writer and correspondent who has been covering celebrity news, pop culture and entertainment for over 4 years. He has experience writing for various media outlets and continues to be passionate about bringing the latest news and insights to readers.

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