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Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder was in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Gene Wilder was not in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Gene Wilder's most famous role?

Roald Dahls famous book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" has been delighting children, and many grown-up children, for decades since it was written in 1964.

Featuring the colorful Willy Wonka, the book went on to be adapted as a musical movie twice, the first of which starred Gene Wilder as the lead role, Willy Wonka, in 1971.

Yet there's something odd here, because although world famous for the role and this movie, he wasn't in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at all - the one he was in was called Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory. 


There were changes made in the movie which Roald Dahl considered so significant he disowned it, and on release it was not a big success, barely making back it's production costs. It has since performed very well, largely due to it's many TV screenings since. The 2005 remake, starring Johnny Depp, was titled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and is very likely to be a large contributor to this confusion. There was a live musical adaptation in 2013 in London's Drury Lane Theatre, again with the title Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The iconic role saw Wilder give one of his best performances, too.

Great fun, with Wilder for once giving an impeccably controlled performance as the factory's bizarre candy owner.

-- Time Out

In real life, Nestle actually produced a Wonka Bar named after the one in the movie, and even created a division to produce it - the Willy Wonka Candy Company.

There was a musical adaptation in 2013 in London's Drury Lane Theatre, again titled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The confusion over the title is easy to understand from the layman's point of view. Most remember the character, the setting and would have no reason to think this version of the movie would be called anything different. In fact, many would put this down to an insignificant detail, yet it's those who did pay attention to it, and are still sure the name of the movie has changed, that leads it to being classed as a Mandela Effect.