As kids, we grew up with Roald Dahl classics, including Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and especially 1964’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But a huge secret was recently revealed: Dahl imagined Charlie as a Black kid.
The best-selling author’s widow Liccy Dahl revealed the news on BBC Radio 4’s Today show during a Roald Dahl Day celebration. She said that he didn’t stick with it because his agent didn’t believe a Black Charlie would appeal to readers.
“I can tell you that it was his agent who thought it was a bad idea, when the book was first published, to have a Black hero,” Dahl’s biographer Donald Sturrock said. “She said people would ask: ‘Why?'”
But as we all know, adding a bit of #BlackBoyJoy would add a modern twist and do numbers at the box office. Here are our top six picks for a potential remake.
The Stranger Things kid has the perfect amount of wit and sarcasm to bring extra hilarity to Charlie’s story.
As Jack Johnson from Black-ish we’ve seen Brown grow up right in front of our eyes. His awkward charm would fit in perfectly with Charlie’s character.
As little Chiron in Moonlight, Hibbert won over the audience. We could definitely see him bringing a complex, layered portrayal of Charlie’s backstory.
Benjamin Flores Jr.
The young talent known best from his work on Nickelodeon, he’s also a talented rapper—can we get a hip hop remix on the traditional songs from the movie we know and love?
The younger Shahidi is making a name for himself; Charlie would be perfect role to level him up.
We know Chavis as nine-year-old Randall in This is Us. We know he’d bring the same sweet humor to the role of Charlie.