Since we’re weekend warriors now, it only makes sense that we break from the pack and engage in some rampant free-thinking. Pretty soon YouTube and Hollywood should completely merge and we will be seeing our favorite YouTubers starring in our favorite TV shows and movies. Of course, until that point, we can only speculate on what might have been had this merger happened 10, 20 or 500 years ago. So every weekend, we take a pop culture movie and recast it with YouTubers who we think might have worked perfectly in that role.
This week: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
It’s essentially the same fundamental characters, but still the distinction needs to be made: we’re recasting the old 1971 classic with Gene Wilder, not that Johnny Depp abortion that still grossed a chunk of change. Why can’t they concentrate on remaking old bad movies into good new movies instead of f**king with the classics?
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is the tale of several bad little children who get a tour of a fantastical chocolate factory full of Acid Trip Boat Rides and little orange slaves with green hair. There’s a weirdly vindictive factory owner and one decently good poor kid who scores the trip of a lifetime. Luckily for him, the factory tour is in the same town in which he lives. Otherwise, likely, he wouldn’t be able to make the trip. Which brings up an interesting point: why the hell didn’t that selfish bastard Charlie sell that ticket for thousands (if not millions) and buy his destitute family a better life? Gambling on getting your own magical factory out of a tour seems like a pretty stupid long shot. But it’s an awesome adaptation of the dark-as-hell Roald Dahl book and a bona fide classic perfect for recasting YouTubers (which is an ironic undertaking considering my earlier rant).
Played in the movie by: Gene Wilder
Played in our version by: Kurt Hugo Schneider
When I mentioned that I was doing this to my co-homies at NMR, they all had their own unique suggestions for who should play Willy Wonka. Some of them were pretty terrific, but ultimately the guy who pulls the strings at the chocolate factory should be a YouTuber who pulls some major behind-the-scenes strings: Kurt Hugo Schneider. One of the most talented musical arrangers on YouTube, Kurt has done much towards making stars out of other YouTubers. And he’s definitely something of a recluse when it comes to industry stuff. Yeah, I could imagine him wearing the velvet purple Wonka outfit with orange top hat. And he’s got the chops to play Rachmaninoff on Wonka’s tiny piano.
Played in the movie by: Peter Ostrum
Played in our version by: Laci Green
A good kid in a land of naughty children? Sounds like we’re already talking about Laci Green. Laci, who does her best Charlie Bucket impression anyways, is smart enough to realize when the other kids are doing wrong and to call them out on it. Of course, Charlie isn’t perfect, but he ultimately deserved to own the chocolate factory at the end. And right now, that’s how we feel about Laci and YouTube.
Played in the movie by: Michael Bollner
Played in our version by: Harley Morenstein
Harley was gonna pop up somewhere, and if it’s Willy Wonka we’re talking, the master of YouTube calories would only be the insatiable Augustus Gloop. While he leans over to drink straight from the chocolate river and falls in, it would be more likely that a whiskey river would be Harley’s undoing. And considering he’s from Montreal, he’d make that single malt into a nice Canadian blended.
Played in the movie by: Julie Dawn Cole
Played in our version by: Joey Graceffa
Who but Joey Graceffa has the, um, acting range to pull off a loudmouth, selfish diva that makes all the other kids roll their eyes whenever the character opens their mouth? It’s too bad that Veruca Salt ultimately falls down the “bad egg” chute because it’s easy to imagine her just getting her car towed.
Played in the movie by: Denise Nickerson
Played in our version by: Rosanna Pansino
Ms. Nerdy Nummies herself wouldn’t be able to say no to a gum that is a full meal. Hell, if she could figure out how to make this for her show, even if you did turn into a giant blueberry, she would find a way to make it happen.
Played in the movie by: Paris Themmen
Played in our version by: Flula
How could you have this movie and not have Flula? You basically can’t. Technically, you can because he wasn’t born in 1971, but now that you’ve envisioned the German songmeister in a cowboy hat and wielding toy guns, you can’t unsee it. And that is the definition of a perfect casting.
Played in the movie by: George Claydon, Malcolm Dixon, etc.
Played in our version by: Pentatonix
Ompaa Loompa, do pa de dee … Is there a better way to get serenaded to your death or temporary inconvenience than to have Pentatonix singing you off with a badass tune about what a shithead you are? And they would look so fetch in that green hair and orange skin, all doing cartwheels and shit.