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 one million dollars.
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).
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.
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 Department, Television Room, Whizzdoodles, Chocolate Lip Rookies, Blackberry Sausages, Yankee Doodles, Orange Egg Flip, Root Beer Goggles, Pastry Room, Heart Shaped Lungs, and Projection Room.
Screenwriter John August had never even seen Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), when asked by 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.
Quite a lot of the chocolate things such as trees, flowers, et cetera, featured in the movie, were created by chocolate shop Choccywoccydoodah in Brighton, England. 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 Brothers 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 film was one of the many projects that was produced by Plan B Productions, the film production company that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston formed during their marriage. It was the last production produced, before they filed for divorce.
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. (for example, having London architecture, street layouts, and accents, but having American clothing styles, American mailboxes, and fire hydrants, and American terminology). Another similarity, is that Charlie and his parents speak with an English accent.
206,563.48 U.S. gallons (781,927.83 liters) of fake chocolate were made for the river area, while 38,430.42 U.S. 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 U.S. gallons (927,403.1 liters).
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.
The UPC on the giant chocolate bar to be sent by television is 034000190003, which is the UPC for seven ounce (198.4 grams) 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, 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.
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.
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.
In the television room scene, the movie that the chocolate bar was teleported into is implied to be 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The ape's behavior towards the chocolate bar, is a remake of the first scene of the film, and the film's theme music was also used in that scene.
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 1970's glamorous rock star."
As mentioned earlier, the country where the Chocolate Factory is located is an ambiguous cross between the U.S. and England. 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. It is also noted, that when Charlie finds the last Golden Ticket, he is offered one hundred dollars for it.
During production, Gene Wilder, who played Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & 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.
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.
Julie Dawn Cole (the original Veruca Salt from the 1971 film) went and saw a preview of the film with her then 12 year old son. After they walked out of the theater she asked him what he thought of the film and he reportedly said "Mum, it's much better than yours".
Denise Nickerson, who first portrayed Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), had played Amy Jennings on the television series Dark Shadows (1966). Johnny Depp, who portrayed Willy Wonka in this film, starred as Barnabas Collins in the film version of Dark Shadows (2012).
When Prince Pondicherry's chocolate palace begins to melt in the hot sun, the first drop lands on his forehead in the position and shape of a bindi, a dot that is worn by both men and women as a symbol of their religion, social cast and marital status. Other names for the dot are tilak, tika, pottue, sindoor, tilakam and kumkum. The palace is also in the shape of the Taj Majel, a symbol of excessive expenditure in India that was once covered with camouflage in WWII out of fear of Japanese bombing.
When in the factory, Mr. Teavee comments that Willy Wonka is "a few quarters short of a buck", which Mr. Salt quips that he doesn't "speak American." Ironically, Adam Godley, who portrays Mr. Teavee, is English.
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).
This is the first of three films, in which Tim Burton has cast someone from the English soap Eastenders (1985). In this film, Nitin Ganatra plays Prince Pondicherry, and also plays Masood Ahmed on Eastenders. The other two are Alice In Wonderland (2010), and Alice Through The Looking Glass (2016), which star Barbara Windsor, who played Peggy Mitchell. Tim Burton is a fan of the soap.