Roald Dahl wanted Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to be black

1 min read

One of the world's most famous stories, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, didn't turn out the way author Roald Dahl wanted...

The writer's widow Liccy reveals her late husband always felt his beloved Charlie should be a "little black boy", but according to Dahl's biographer David Sturrock, his literary agent talked him out of the idea.

In a new BBC radio interview to mark what would have been Dahl's 101st birthday, Liccy explained her husband introduced Charlie Bucket as a black kid.

"His first Charlie that he wrote about, you know, was a little black boy.

"It was his agent who thought it was a bad idea, when the book was first published, to have a black hero.”

Liccy also revealed Roald wasn't thrilled about the first movie adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which featured Gene Wilder as chocolate company boss Willy Wonka and Peter Ostrum as Charlie.

She said of the 1971 film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory -

"He wasn't very happy about Charlie, the original with Gene Wilder.” 

The story was revamped by director Tim Burton's after Dahl's death, with Johnny Depp as Wonka and Freddie Highmore as Charlie, while Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville is set to portray the beloved children's author in a new biopic.

Dahl died in 1990.

Written By Emily Whitham

"We’re really disappointed."

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The older I get the more I relate to Miss Trunchball tbh.