Over the years, Dev Patel has showcased a flair for playing passionate, good-hearted men going against the odds to make a name for themselves. Whether it’s Slumdog Millionaire, Lion, or 2020’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, the British actor excels in leading roles that let him play underdogs who discover their passion, dreams, or enthusiasm for life. Certainly, if this prequel studied Willy Wonka’s rags-to-riches adversities in the midst of greatness, Patel has proven his capability in that type of role. Additionally, Patel could really sell Wonka’s warmth, too.
Notably, Dev Patel’s work in David Copperfield is some of his finest yet, nailing the whimsical and lyrical comedic-dramatic tone. While the movie itself isn’t without faults, Patel’s vibrant, bewitching performance hits with gusto. If he brought that same winning spirit, he could play Wonka’s tenacity well.