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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Preview



Preview by: Jack Foley

THE summer of 2005 could well be the season of great reunions at the box office.

First, there's George Lucas and Darth Vader (Revenge of the Sith), followed by Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg (War of the Worlds) and, of course, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp.

The latter duo have reunited for a remake of Roald Dahl's classic children's tale, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is being released through Warner Bros on July 29.

The tale is timeless, of course, and has already been transformed into a popular film version starring Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory).

Burton, however, has been very vocal in referring to that film version as being 'too sappy' and has promised that his take on the tale will be a much darker affair.

Says Burton, as part of the PR: "I responded to the book because it respected that children can be adults, and I think adults can forget that."

Such a sentiment seems a far cry from the child-friendly views of Johnny Depp's last movie performance in Finding Neverland, which saw him attempting to prolong youth through Peter Pan.

Yet signing on to Charlie & The Chocolate Factory did at least allow him the chance to work with Burton again, who viewed the combination of the director and Dahl as 'a match made in heaven'.

"It's great being back with Tim; it's like coming home," observed the star.

And Depp didn't come alone, bringing his Finding Neverland co-star, Freddie Highmore, with him after being so impressed by the child's performance in Marc Forster's Oscar-nominated picture.

Advance word suggests that Depp and Burton have got it right, while the trailer seems to tap in to the director's penchant for delivering the giddily offbeat.

Whether it will match the high standards set by the duo's previous two outings - Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood - remains to be seen, however, given that Burton's last attempt at a remake was Planet of the Apes, which drew a lot of derision.

With Depp playing Willy Wonka like a cross between a 70s glam-rock star and a Howard Hughes-style recluse it should, at the very least, be interesting.

And let's not forget the support cast, which includes another regular Burton collaborator, Helena Bonham Carter, as well as David Kelly, Noah Taylor, James Fox, Missi Pyle and a certain Christopher Lee.

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