Tony and Olivier Award winner Douglas Hodge (La Cage aux Folles) will star as Willy Wonka in director Sam Mendes’ musical adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, according to The Daily Mail. As previously reported, the musical will play the West End’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane beginning May 18, 2013, with an official opening to follow in June. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will feature a book by David Greig and music and lyrics by Tony winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. No further casting has been announced.
Mendes reportedly told associates that he wanted a “proper actor” for the role and not just some big name star with little talent.
Hodge earned a Tony Award and Olivier Award for his starring role as Albin in the revival of La Cage aux Folles. His many other stage credits include Guys and Dolls, Betrayal, Three Sisters and Inadmissible Evidence. He recently directed The Torch Song Trilogy at London's Menier Chocolate Factory, and this fall he will headline the Broadway revival of Cyrano de Bergerac.
Based on Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory follows the adventures of young Charlie Bucket as he and four other children are invited into the strange and eccentric world of Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory. The book was first adapted to the big screen in 1971 under the title Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and starring Gene Wilder. In 2005, Tim Burton directed a remake using the novel's original title, with Johnny Depp playing Wonka.