The Rock Says He Battled Johnny Depp To Play Willy Wonka

by : Cameron Frew on : 28 Jul 2020 14:45
The Rock Says He Battled Johnny Depp To Play Willy WonkaParamount Pictures/Warner Bros.

Can you smell what The Rock is cooking? Once upon a time, it was nearly chocolate. 

Dwayne Johnson is probably the most recognisable movie star on the planet, whether it be from his time rock-bottoming fools in the wrestling ring or going toe-to-toe with his Fast & Furious foes.


However, in the early 2000s, he was still breaking into the film industry with roles in the likes of The Scorpion King, Gridiron Gang, Walking Tall and Doom. And it turns out that when Tim Burton plotted his take on Roald Dahl’s iconic novel, Johnson was considered for the part of Willy Wonka.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Johnny DeppWarner Bros.

In 2005, Burton directed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with Johnny Depp playing the whimsical, eccentric, borderline-creepy, top hat-wearing confectionery inventor.

With Johnson’s name rising up through Hollywood, the Edward Scissorhands director considered him for the role of Wonka. Naturally, The Rock thought: ‘HOLY SHIT, IM IN.’


However, in a recent Instagram post, the Jumanji star explained: 

But that was many years ago when I was just starting out in Hollywood with no foundation of global box office strength or any real acting experience to even pull it off. The role, of course went to Johnny Depp, who at that time was the biggest star in the world. The rest was history. And down the road I went.

The 48-year-old had shown his kids one of his favourite films: the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring the immeasurable Gene Wilder as the chocolatier. ‘They loved it and now fully expect me to deliver a room full of chocolate and candy. That’ll be my next project,’ he wrote.

Dwayne Johnson JumanjiSony Pictures Releasing

Johnson’s career has obviously soared into the stratosphere now, but ‘the fact that Tim even considered me (albeit I’m sure he considered for all of 7 seconds:) sure meant a helluva lot to me as I was just breaking in to the business with no idea what the future had in store’.

The Rock added: 

I’ll always raise a glass to the dreams that don’t come true, because sometimes they’re the best thing that never happened. #BigBrownBaldTattooedWonka

Dwayne Johnson Cameron Frew

Johnson was next set to appear in Jungle Cruise, Disney’s upcoming swashbuckling adventure, alongside Emily Blunt. However, due to the current pandemic, it’s been pushed back to July 30, 2021. He’ll also star in a big-screen Tom and Jerry movie on March 5, 2021.

On August 22, it’s also expected that Johnson’s long-awaited Black Adam movie will be revealed at DC Fandome. He may not be Willy Wonka, but he’s still the People’s Champ.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, Dwayne Johnson, Film, Johnny Depp, Now


The Rock/Instagram
  1. The Rock/Instagram