Sorry, Johnny — the internet names Gene Wilder the best Willy Wonka

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

As Johnny Depp’s bitter defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard rages on, the internet has taken sides in a very different battle involving Depp — the debate over who is the best Willy Wonka. Roald Dahl’s eccentric chocolatier was first brought to the screen in 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory before Depp played the part in the Tim Burton remake, released in 2005.

A viral tweet from Twitter user Frank Goodman got the discussion started, with the OP asking fans to name their pick for the best cinematic Wonka. And, going by the way that Gene Wilder ended up trending, it’s clear that there’s only one possible answer for most folks.

A lot of people don’t even understand why this is even a question.

There’s only one Wonka, according to many, and it ain’t Johnny.

That’s one way of putting it…

Has Depp’s Wonka spawned as many memes as Wilder’s? I don’t think so.

To be fair, there are some fans out there defending Depp’s interpretation. A few like both as much as each other.

An even smaller amount actually prefer Depp’s weirder, kooky take on the character.

This bit of trivia proves just how in tune with the role Wilder was, though — his iconic entrance, where Wonka appears to stumble but turns it into a forward roll, was all his idea.

Remember, this debate won’t be just a two-Wonka race before long as Timothée Chalamet is set to star in Wonka, a musical prequel film that will reveal the character’s origins. From Paddington‘s Paul King, the movie co-stars Keegan-Michael Key, Sally Hawkins, Rowan Atkinson, and Olivia Colman. We’ll find out if Chalamet can prove more popular than Gene Wilder, or at least Johnny Depp, when Wonka hits theaters in December 2023.