Hollywood is littered with stories about actors that turned down iconic roles or who were considered and rejected for whatever reason. It can be a fun game to play to wonder just how a certain movie might have turned out if the lead role was played by somebody else. However, Dwayne Johnson may have just blown our minds because he says he was considered for a role that was eventually played by Johnny Depp. Can you even picture The Rock as Willy Wonka in Tim Burton's remake of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory?
According to Dwayne Johnson, that was at least theoretically possible, although even Johnson is clear that the odds of it actually happening were pretty long, even at the time. The actor and former professional wrestler posted a brief Instagram video of the 1971 Gene Wilder film version, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and along with revealing that it's one of Johnson's favorite movies, he dropped the news that Tim Burton had briefly considered him for the role of Wonka in the 2005 remake.
Of course, in the time this was considered, which would have been 2003 or 2004, as the remake came out in 2005, Dwayne Johnson was only just getting started in his new career in Hollywood. He didn't have the history or the experience and his name simply wasn't the draw then that it would eventually become, and the role of Willy Wonka eventually went to frequent Tim Burton collaborator Johnny Depp.
Certainly, Dwayne Johnson as Willy Wonka would have been a long shot, but it would have been such a different character that it becomes difficult to even imagine what Johnson's version of Wonka would have looked like. It certainly would have been unlike anything he had played to that point. And even now, with Dwayne Johnson has settled into his position in Hollywood. The idea of him playing Wonka seems bizarre, but that's part of why the idea is so interesting.
While Dwayne Johnson is one of the more fantastical humans walking the planet, I mean just look at the guy, he tends to play, for lack of a better term "normal" people. His movies are often over the top action spectacles but Dwayne Johnson plays cops, members of the military, and other people who have actual jobs that real people have. His attempts at real fantasy stories have been minimal, and it has to be said, less successful than his other gigs.
Certainly, Dwayne Johnson became a huge star regardless. Not getting the Willy Wonka role was no great loss, and as Johnson himself says, he probably wasn't really considered for the role in the first place. Still, it's a fun idea, and it's now been 15 years since somebody made a film version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which in Hollywood terms is forever. Shouldn't we be about due for another remake? Maybe Dwayne Johnson can get another chance at that role.