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.
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.
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 Beauregarde, 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).
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.
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 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 location of Willy Wonka's factory in the movie is ambiguous and 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.
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.
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.
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).
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".
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.
Rowan Atkinson, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, John Cleese, Robert De Niro, Eric Idle, Dwayne Johnson, Adam Sandler, Michael Keaton, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Leslie Nielsen, Michael Palin, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Patrick Stewart, Ben Stiller, Christopher Walken and Robin Williamswere considered for the role of Willy Wonka. Roald Dahl's widow Liccy Dahl suggested either Dustin Hoffman, or an English comedian such as Eddie Izzard or David Walliams.
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.
During production, Gene Wilder, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, accused the filmmakers of only remaking Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) 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 the book.
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."
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.
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. The ten "dollar" bill that Charlie uses to purchase the winning bar is a fairly obvious 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 five hundred dollars for it.
During pre-production Tim Burton visited Roald Dahl's former home in the Buckinghamshire village of Great Missenden. Liccy Dahl remembers Burton entering Dahl's famed writing shed and saying, "This is the Bucket's house!" and thinking to herself, "Thank God, somebody gets it". Liccy showed Burton the original handwritten manuscripts, which Burton discovered were more politically incorrect than the published book. The manuscripts included a child named Herpes after the sexually transmitted disease.
Rather than rely on CGI, Tim Burton wanted the 40 squirrels in the Nut Room to be real. The animals were trained everyday for 10 weeks before filming commenced. They began their coaching while newborns, fed by bottles to form relationships with human trainers. The squirrels where each taught how to sit upon a little blue bar stool, tap and then open a walnut and deposit its meat onto a conveyor belt. "Utimately the scene was supplemented by CGI and animatronics but for the close-ups and the main action they're the real thing" Burton said.
Tim Burton compared the project's languishing development to Batman (1989) and how there had been varied creative efforts with both films. He stated "Scott Frank's version was the best, probably the clearest and the most interesting but they abandon that". Liccy Dahl commented that Burton was the first and only director the estate was happy with. Burton had previously produced another of Roald Dahl's adaptations with James and the Giant Peach (1996) and like Roald and Liccy he also disliked the 1971 film because it strayed from the book's storyline.
Depp signed on without reading the script under the intention of going with a completely different approach than what Gene Wilder did in the 1971 film adaptation. Depp said regardless of the original film, Gene Wilder's characterization of Willy Wonka stood out as a unique portrayal.
Johnny Depp always cited one of his favorite actors of all time to be Marlon Brando, who died during filming. 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.
Tim Burton and John August worked together in creating Wilbur Wonka, Willy's domineering dentist father. Burton thought the paternal character would help explain Willy Wonka himself and that otherwise he would be "just a weird guy". The element of an estranged father-son relationship had previously appeared in Big Fish (2003).
Tim Burton avoided using too many digital effects because he wanted the younger actors to feel as if they were working in a realistic environment, as a result forced perspective techniques, oversized props and scale models were used to avoid computer-generated imagery.
A practical method was considered for the scene in which Violet Beauregarde turns blue and swells up into a giant 10 ft blueberry. A suit with an air hose was considered at one point for the beginning of the swelling scene, before the decision was made to do the entire transformation in CGI. The visual effects house Cinesite was recruited for this assignment. In some shots of AnnaSophia Robb's head a facial prosthetic was worn to give the impression that her cheeks had swelled up as well. Because this decision was made late in the film's production, any traces of Violet's blueberry scene were omitted from trailers or promotional material.
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.
After Veruca falls down to the incinerator, Wonka reassures the group by saying it is only lit on Tuesdays, to which Mike Teavee comments that "Today is Tuesday". The factory tour commenced on Feb. 1, and that day in 2005 was actually a Tuesday.
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.
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. The coin that Grandpa Joe gives Charlie to buy a Wonka bar is a U.S. silver dollar.
After Veruca falls down the garbage chute, Mr. Wonka assures the group that they only light the incinerator on Tuesdays. Mike Teavee reminds him that today is Tuesday. In the novel, the tour occurs on the same day in which every event in the sequel "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator" occurs. According to the former, the tour happens on the first of February. In the latter, Mr. Wonka states that it's 1972. February 1st, 1972 actually was a Tuesday.
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).
When Mike TV is teleported into the television, the scene from Psycho (1960) in which Norman Bates attacks Marion Crane is re-enacted. Freddie Highmore would later go on to star as Norman Bates in Bates Motel eight years later.