London, Oct 12: English actor Douglas Hodge has signed on to play Willy Wonka in Sam Mendes' production of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.'
The 52-year-old is currently on Broadway starring in a revival of 'Cyrano de Bergerac.'
Earlier this year, he starred in the BBC drama 'Bert and Dickie,' about the 1948 London Olympic rowers Bert Bushnell and Dickie Burnell.
The new musical will open at London's Theatre Royal next May.
Songs for the show will be written by Mark Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the pair behind the musical 'Hairspray' and US TV series 'Smash.'
The script will be written by Scottish playwright David Greig, while Peter Darling - a recent Olivier winner for his work on Matilda the Musical - will provide the choreography.
Hodge will follow in the footsteps of Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp who have both played the eccentric chocolate factory owner in Hollywood versions of Roald Dahl's book.
The actor said that his take on Willy Wonka would be "a cross between Charlie Chaplin and Dali."
"Part of the thrill for me is that it's brand new," the BBC quoted him as telling the Daily Telegraph.
"No one's ever heard the songs before. Shows like Guys and Dolls are brilliant, but you're doing stuff that's already been done. So to have something that's a clean slate is great," he said. (ANI)