Culture

Sam Mendes Will Direct a ‘Charlie & The Chocolate Factory’ Musical

Culture

Sam Mendes Will Direct a ‘Charlie & The Chocolate Factory’ Musical

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Sam Mendes has a long, storied career as a director of the stage; it’s how he got his start in entertainment before eventually turning heads in the film world. But the news that the American Beauty filmmaker will be directing a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical is definitely a little surprising, because he hasn’t been known to take such gaudy productions in recent years. Richard IIIThe Cherry OrchardThe Tempest—his theatre output this decade reads like the syllabus for a comparative literature major, not the inevitable destination for London tourists and their families come June 2013. That it’ll be his first project following Skyfall, the newest James Bond movie, is also a bit of a tonal change. There’s room for the traditional Mendes malaise to float in: Maybe his version will explore Charlie’s growing dissatisfaction with the vagaries of youth, or Willy Wonka’s bitter cynicism toward the world of commerce, but given that the music will be written by the guys who did Hairspray, I’m guessing it won’t get so heavy. Still: Daniel Craig as Wonka? Tickets go on sale in October.