Douglas Hodge is currently hamming it up on Broadway as the charismatic star of Cyrano de Bergerac, but theater fans are already eagerly looking forward to the Tony winner's next role: Willy Wonka. The English actor is set to play the eccentric chocolatier in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a new musical adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl novel that will play London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane next May.
“To make something from scratch is wonderful," Hodge recently told Broadway.com, noting the musical will pull more from the original novel than the 1971 film adaptation (starring Gene Wilder) or the 2005 remake (starring Johnny Depp). "The script’s great, and it’s very true and it’s not like any of the films. It’s just like Roald Dahl.”
Hodge is eager for the world to see the "brilliant designs" that will bring the show's chocolate factory to life, but is most excited about the score from Tony-winning songwriting team Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. "The songs, the songs!" gushed Hodge. "They’re good and new. I can’t wait to get my hands on them.”
Luckily Hodge won't have to wait too long to get to work on the project. “[Show director] Sam Mendes is coming to New York and he just e-mailed me this morning at 3 AM saying, 'Let’s meet and have coffee and start talking about it!'”
Enjoy the brainstorming session Douglas, but may we suggest getting into character and ordering a hot chocolate instead of coffee?