First showing of Johnny Depp in the CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY trailer!

Warner Brothers plans to unveil the first trailer for Tim Burton’s retelling of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, in less than a week! You can see Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka when you buy a ticket for THE POLAR EXPRESS, which opens on November 10th. The Zone thanks My Man Depp for breaking the story.

Meanwhile, today’s Variety contains an interesting background article on CATCF, called “Great Collaborations.” Tim Burton describes his version of the story as “darker, more sinister” than the Gene Wilder version, which Burton considers “sappy.” Amanda Conquy, Director of the Dahl literary estate, confirms that Burton’s film “will be far more faithful to the book” than the 1971 Gene Wilder film (which Dahl “never liked”). This time around, the Dahl literary estate has “had a lot of input in the film, including being consulted by the director and lead actor,” Conquy confides to Variety. As for that lead actor, Variety notes: “Although Steve Martin, Robin Williams and Nicolas Cage were keen to play Willy Wonka, there was little doubt that when Tim Burton signed up to direct CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, it would not be long before Johnny Depp would be measured for the tall hat.” Well, we know how much Johnny loves hats–and how much Tim loves working with Johnny.

One final bit of news from the CATCF set: Roald Dahl actually lived quite close to Pinewood [Studios], “in the Buckinghamshire village of Great Missenden,” Variety reports. “Next year the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, supported by the film’s producers, is set to open to coincide with the film’s release.” What a lovely tribute! Thanks to Sleepy and Gina for reporting this story; you can read the full article on the News and Views forum.