To his surprise, Deep Roy played every Oompa-Loompa himself, repeating the same movements several hundred times. While these were then put together digitally, each Oompa-Loompa represents a separate performance by Roy. In recognition of this, Roy's salary was raised to $1,000,000.
Some of the buttons in the Glass elevator include: Incompetent Fools, T-Bone Steak Jell-O, Secretarial Poodles, Cocoa Cats, Mechanical Clouds, Stars in their Pies, Nice Plums, Up And Out, Fragile Eggs, Black Box of Frogs, Weird Lollipops, Mighty Jam Monitor, Creative Dog Flip, Elastic Forest, Leaky Canes, Dessert Island, Pie Cream, Spewed Vegetables, Naffy Taffy, Lickety Split Peas, Honeycombs and Brushes, Old Sneezes and Smells Dept., Television Room, Whizzdoodles, Chocolate Lip Rookies, Blackberry Sausages, Yankee Doodles, Orange Egg Flip, Root Beer Goggles, Pastry Room, Heart Shaped Lungs, and Projection Room.
In the same room as the machine that makes the "three-course meal" gum, there are large rotating drums that look like bowls filled with colored balls. These are real machines that make large jawbreakers, or Gobstoppers, which are sold under the Willy Wonka brand.
The film was one of the many projects that was produced by Plan B Productions, the film production company that actors Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston formed during their marriage. It was the last production produced before they filed for divorce.
Screenwriter John August had never even seen Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), when asked by director Tim Burton to write the script. After finishing the screenplay, he finally watched the 1971 version, only to be surprised at how much darker the "family" film was compared to his own.
Each Oompa Loompa song is in the style of a different musical era. Additionally, Willy Wonka's comment for each song is a phrase from the corresponding era: Augustus Gloop, Broadway Musical ("Bravo! Well done. Aren't they delightful? Aren't they charming?" clapping and praises like what people say after a show); Violet Beauregard, Disco ("Come on, let's boogie!"); Veruca Salt - Psychadelic ("Well, let's keep on truckin.'"); Mike Teevee, Rock ("On with the tour!" in reference to the plethora of rock concert tours).
Quite a lot of the chocolate things such as trees, flowers, etc. featured in the movie were created by chocolate shop Choccywoccydoodah in Brighton, U.K. The shop displayed and sold some of the creations in the shop after the release of the film.
In early 2003, Gregory Peck was offered the role of Grandpa Joe. He told Warner Bros. he would consider it, but he passed away before he could give them an answer. Peck's family has said in interviews that he only told them that as he did not want to seem desperate and take a big pay cut, he was really looking forward to playing Grandpa Joe.
The location of Willy Wonka's factory in the movie is ambiguous, and it is designed to look like a cross between the U.K. and the U.S.A. (i.e. having London architecture, street layouts and accents, but having American clothing styles, American mailboxes and fire hydrants, and American terminology).
When the obnoxious Veruca Salt introduces herself, Willy Wonka says, "I always thought a verruca was a type of wart ..." In fact, "Verruca plantaris" is a painful wart caused by the human papillomavirus and occurs on the sole or toes of the foot.
206,563.48 US gallons (781,927.83 liters) of fake chocolate were made for the river area while 38,430.42 US gallons (145,474.96 liters) of it were made for the waterfall. The grand total of all the fake chocolate used on stage was 244,993.98 US gallons (927,403.1 liters).
The film, for the most part, ignores the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), and the only similarity is that the other four children bring one parent apiece with them to the factory, unlike the book where it was both parents.
In the TV room scene, the movie that the chocolate bar was teleported into is implied to be Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The ape's behavior towards the chocolate bar is a remake of the first scenes of the film, and the film's theme music was also used in that scene.
The UPC on the giant chocolate bar to be sent by television is 034000190003, which is the UPC for 7oz Hershey's milk chocolate candy bars. The Willy Wonka Candy Company is a brand of Nestlé, one of Hershey's biggest competitors.
Having had such trouble in casting Grandpa Joe, director Tim Burton offered the part to David Kelly when the two first met when Kelly was visiting Pinewood studios for a wardrobe fitting on another movie. Kelly said the whole process took three minutes.
Johnny Depp used game show hosts as well as children's television hosts, such as Fred Rogers, as his inspiration for his performance as Willy Wonka. He also said in interviews that Willy Wonka would be "part Howard Hughes-reclusive, part 1970s glamorous rock star."
When Willy Wonka opens his factory for the first time, he cuts a ribbon with scissors. He then turns around and opens his arms, looking like one hand is made of scissors. This is a reference to Edward Scissorhands (1990), in which Johnny Depp also starred.
As mentioned earlier, the country where the Chocolate Factory is located is an ambiguous cross between the U.S. and the U.K. This is even carried through to the money. When Charlie finds the ten "dollar" bill that he uses to purchase the winning bar, is a fairly obvious that it is a cross between a British Pound note and a U.S. dollar note.
Johnny Depp always cited one of his favorite actors of all time to be Marlon Brando, who died during the filming of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). Brando was well known for his tendency to mumble when delivering lines. The scene where Wonka shouts "Mumbler!" at Mike Teavee is a possible commemoration of Brando.
During production, Gene Wilder, who played Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, accused the filmmakers of only remaking the 1971 film for the purpose of money. Johnny Depp defended the film saying it was not a remake of the 1971 film, but a new adaptation of Roald Dahl's 1964 book.
Denise Nickerson, who first portrayed Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), had played Amy Jennings on the TV series Dark Shadows (1966-1971). Johnny Depp, who portrayed Willy Wonka in this film, starred as Barnabas Collins in the film version of Dark Shadows (2012).
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Liz Smith, who plays Grandma Georgina, stated in an interview on AskMen.com that she read the scripts for both of the grandmothers and picked the one that got to kiss Johnny Depp ("And it was lovely," she recalled).